Skip to Content

Guy Verhofstad, Beppe Grillo
Brussels

EU Liberals reject Beppe Grillo’s proposal to join

The group of Liberals in the European Parliament (ALDE) headed by Guy Verhofstad, have rejected a proposal by the Italian 5-Star Movement to join them

Published: January 10, 2017, 9:37 am

    The group of Liberals in the European Parliament (ALDE) headed by Guy Verhofstad, have rejected a proposal by the Italian 5-Star Movement to join them after Beppe Grillo’s split with the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).

    Italy’s main opposition party said they rejected traditional left-right ideological labels, but it has been an embarrassing gaffe for EU’s chief Brexit negotiator only days after the outspoken Belgian politician announced his intention to run for the presidency of the European parliament.

    ALDE Leader Verhofstad told a French news programme, 64′ on Monday: “I have come to the conclusion that there are not enough guarantees to push forward a common agenda to reform Europe.”

    “There is insufficient common ground to proceed with the request of the Five Star Movement to join the ALDE Group. There remain fundamental differences on key European issues.”

    “However, on issues of shared interest, such as the environment, transparency and direct democracy, the ALDE Group and the Five Star Movement will continue to work closely together.”

    Grillo, founder of the 5-Star, proposed splitting with UKIP on Sunday and its members backed the idea in a vote on Monday.

    Nigel Farage stands to lose millions in EU funds if his EFDD group collapses as a result of M5S’ defection. It might drive UKIP into the arms of Marine Le Pen.

    Farage poked fun at Grillo over his double dealing after the news of the collapsed deal surfaced. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Farage said: “I didn’t expect to be proved correct so quickly.”

    Back in December, Verhofstadt put his name to an amendment that would mean MEPs could only form groups according to their political affinity.

    Sylvie Goulard, the French ALDE MEP who considered running for Parliament president, told EurActiv France she’s concerned about 5 Star leader Beppe Grillo’s “xenophobic and nationalist opinions”.

    German Green MEP Sven Giegold, said Verhofstadt had lost his political credentials: “The Liberals did well to end their negotiations with the eurosceptic 5-star movement. Guy Verhofstadt’s deal was stopped by more principled liberal colleagues.

    “His candidacy as pro-european successor of Martin Schulz lost not just 17 votes but most of its political credentials.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Merkel’s sidekick urges disenfranchisement of AfD voters

    BerlinGerman politician Peter Altmaier urged voters to not vote rather than vote for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. The Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and Federal Minister for Special Affairs since December 2013, is regarded as one of Angela Merkel's most trusted advisors.

    Attacks on AfD surge ahead of elections

    With the German federal election approaching, attacks on Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and its supporters have risen sharply.

    Rome freezes Northern League bank accounts in bid to stop Salvini’s rise

    RomeItalian Northern League (LN) leader Matteo Salvini said on Friday that he would appeal against a decision by a Genoa court to freeze party funds.

    Russian Germans flock to AfD

    In the German states that used to make up West Germany — particularly in the areas where many ethnic Russian Germans live — the AfD has recently received 20 or 30 or even 40 percent of the vote in state elections.

    Poland says Germany owes it a trillion dollars in WW2 reparations

    Polish foreign minister, and member of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said Germany should consider paying Poland World War II reparations. Witold Waszczykowski believes Germany owed his country as much as $1 trillion in reparations.

    AfD ignores German Muslim Council survey

    BerlinOn Monday, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, the German Muslim League (Deutsche Muslim Liga) and the Islamische Zeitung newspaper revealed the results of a survey sent to German political parties soon to be represented in the next parliament, except the AfD.

    AfD top candidate storms out of German ZDF’s fake news

    "The AFD feels unfairly treated by the state broadcaster ZDF", headlined the Basler Zeitung while reporting on the election campaign debate "How's Germany" in which the AfD candidate walked out during a live debate.

    Breaking: Geert Wilders and Vlaams Belang strengthen ties in The Hague

    The HagueHigh level delegations of both Vlaams Belang [Flemish Interest] and the Dutch Freedom Party, the PVV are currently meeting in the Second Chamber building in The Hague. The meeting on Thursday will see the parties of Tom van Grieken and Geert Wilders sharing experiences and strategies to counter oppressive Islamization in Flanders and the Netherlands.

    Report: Italian secret service pays Libyan human traffickers to stop migrants

    BrusselsBelgian newspaper De Standaard reported on 31 August that the Italian secret service was paying Libyan human traffickers to keep immigrants away from the Meditteranean Sea.

    Wilders: ‘Future belongs to Europe of sovereign nations’

    Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders gave an historic speech on national sovereignty at the Ambrosetti conference at Villa d’Este, in Italy, sharing the stage with Euro commissioner Frans Timmermans.

    Go to archive