Bannon cast doubt over French president Emmanuel Macron’s push for a more integrated Europe, stating: “His project is dead – Italy and Hungary killed it.”
“Italy matters on a global stage, you are the focus of world politics,” Bannon said at a packed event in Rome. He predicted the new government would “stand up to foreign powers, and foreign capital and the foreign opposition party media”. Bannon added that “if it works in Italy, it’s going to show that we’ve broken the back of the globalists”.
And he suggested that conservatives in the US could learn from Italy’s success, stating: “If we could put Trump’s ‘deplorables’ together with Bernie Sanders’ economic nationalists, that would be a force which could govern America for many decades.” Bannon has described himself as a “Leninist” for his desire to bring down the state.
He recently visited France’s National Front and its leader Marine Le Pen, conservatives in Zurich, planned visits to Spain and Sweden, and has praised Italy’s new Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the 5SM Luigi Di Maio, who has come under attack for his lack of political experience and bizarre career history which has included being football stadium steward.
He said: “It’s like in the American Civil War — Lincoln was a railroad lawyer and Grant was a drunken clerk in his father’s store. Look how Virginia Raggi, the Five Star mayor in Rome, used to be a legal secretary.”
Bannon has also enraged EU negotiator Guy Verhofstadt – the European Parliament’s representative in the Brexit talks – with his comments about Italy. “This is an existential threat to the EU because Italy was a founding member of the European project and there is no country in Europe that brought in more to the European project than Italy.”
Verhofstadt lashed out at “Putin’s cheerleaders” on Facebook. “Europe has a fifth column in its ranks: Putin’s cheerleaders who want to destroy Europe and our liberal democracy from within: Le Pen, Wilders, Farage, Orbàn, Kaczynski, Salvini. They use Kremlin money and rely on Kremlin intelligence. Like Farage’s good friend Arron Banks, who colluded with Russians to deliver Brexit. It’s time to fight back!”
He called Bannon “Putin’s poodle” and conservatives a “disease”.
Putin's poodle Steve Bannon gave the world Trump & is now trying to spread the disease of alt-right nationalism across Europe. Those who believe in freedom & liberal democracy must unite against hate & defend European values! #EP2019 #IamEuropean 🇪🇺 https://t.co/Ot7CY7yLxD
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 8, 2018
The latest elections in Europe do not bode well for the EU, after Janez Jansa, an ally of Hungary’s eurosceptic Prime Minister Viktor Orban, won 25 per cent in the Slovenian general election and his SDS party emerged as the largest party.