EPP berates Berlusconi: ‘Support for Ukraine is not optional’
European People's Party (EPP) President Manfred Weber on Friday cancelled an event scheduled to take place in Naples this year in protest to comments by ex-premier and Forza Italia (FI) leader Silvio Berlusconi criticizing Ukrainian President Zelensky.
Published: February 20, 2023, 8:21 am
“Following the remarks by Silvio Berlusconi on Ukraine we decided to cancel our study days in Naples,” Weber said via Twitter.
The decision by the centre-right group in the European parliament sparked an angry reaction from FI’s politicians.
‘Support for Ukraine is not optional’
Berlusconi recently said he would never have met with Zelensky as Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni did on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels, adding that he had a “very, very negative” view of Zelensky’s conduct, suggesting that Moscow had been provoked into intervening in an already ongoing conflict in the Russian-speaking Donbass.
The EPP, which Forza Italia belongs to, publicly criticized Berlusconi on Friday. Weber singled out Berlusconi, but carefully noted that Forza Italia and its national coordinator, Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani, “have our full support”.
“We continue the cooperation with the Italian government on EU topics,” he added.
Meloni’s government, which governs with FI support, has been backing Ukraine following the eruption of further hostilities, as did the previous executive of ex-premier Mario Draghi.
Tajani unhappy about EPP’s meddling
Tajani did not appreciate being singled out for Weber’s “support”. Instead he complained about the EPP intervening directly in domestic political party issues. “Berlusconi is Forza Italia. Forza Italia is Berlusconi,” Tajani tweeted. “I don’t agree with the decision to postpone the Naples meeting. Berlusconi and FI have always voted in the same way as the EPP on Ukraine”.
FI’s parliamentary whips, Licia Ronzulli and Alessandro Cattaneo, also signalled their anger in a statement, calling on Weber “not to intervene again”.
The statement continued: “The question is not just the cancellation of the study days, which harms not just the party, but Italy too, but also the desire to enter into the internal life of a party… excluding its leaders. This is unacceptable”.
Cancelling Russian artists
Last week the Russian foreign ministry summoned the Italian Ambassador in Moscow Giorgio Starace to express its “bewilderment” to the ambassador about the “recent cancellation of cultural events of Russian artists in Italy”.
It also said that it had informed Starace of Moscow’s assessments of “the current provision of weapons and military equipment to the Kiev regime, including offensive arms, the training of Ukrainian military personnel and, in general, the Western line of provoking an escalation of the conflict”.
At least 58 percent of Italians do not want to send weapons to Ukraine, according to a recent poll by Euromedia Research. The respondents fear, in particular, that “Germany’s decision to send Leopard tanks – and on the whole continuous sending of weapons to Kiev” may lead to an escalation of the conflict with the possibility of direct involvement of NATO.
At least 68.5 percent are against the entry of NATO into the conflict in Ukraine and only 16.2 percent are in favor.
Left implodes in regional elections
Center-right candidates have meanwhile held their ground in elections in Italy’s two most populous and key regions. According to preliminary election results, Regional President Attilio Fontana of the Lega managed to win re-election in Lombardy with the financial metropolis of Milan. In Lazio, with the capital Rome, the right-wing candidate Francesco Rocca won.
The lawyer Fontana, who has been President of Lombardy for five years, received 56 percent of the votes in Lombardy. His Social Democrat challenger, MEP Pierfrancesco Majorino, won a meager 32 percent of the vote.
More importantly, a political turning point is taking place in Lazio after ten years under the leadership of a centre-left alliance. In the region with the capital Rome, Francesco Rocca, candidate of the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia, asserted himself and defeated the social democratic competitor Alessio D’Amato with a solid 50 percent of the votes. The Fratelli d’Italia came to 33 percent – another four percent more than in the parliamentary elections in September.
The Social Democrats of the Partito Democratico (PD – Democratic Party) suffered another defeat after embarrassing themselves in September’s general elections.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Consider donating to support our work
Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.
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 violations 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 delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
CLIMATEThe United States' government scientific organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), predicts zero sunspots from 2031 to 2040. This is an extreme situation that has not occurred in as long as humanity has been counting sunspots, and it leads us into uncharted territory in terms of our solar system. However, this prediction aligns with the warnings of the world-renowned solar researcher Valentina Zharkova for many years, who indicated in 2019 various signs of this catastrophic phenomenon, including the extreme hailstorms we have seen in Europe and the world this summer. The forecast and various observations this year give cause for very significant concern. In this unique analysis, Free West Media explains why.
EUROPEAN ELECTIONSOn Saturday, August 26, representatives of six European nationalist parties gathered in Budapest. The meeting was initiated by the Hungarian party Mi Hazánk and took place in the national parliament. Representatives of the parties signed a joint declaration that not only reaffirms the parties' friendship but also their unity on a range of complex political issues. A surprisingly clear and radical manifesto was established. The hope is that this cooperation will lead to success in the EU elections and eventually result in the formation of a group in the European Parliament. For Swedish nationalism, this meeting marks a success as Sweden, for the first time, has a party represented in a leading nationalist cooperation in Europe. Free West Media was present at this historic event.
Sweden will have to wait a bit longer for NATO membership, according to Turkey's Justice Minister Jilmaz Tunc. First, Sweden must extradite the "terrorists" Turkey wants and stop the desecration of the Quran.
The Russian attack helicopter Ka-52 is considered one of the world's best and has struck fear in Ukraine, where it has hunted down tanks and other armored vehicles, often beyond the range of many light anti-aircraft systems. However, it has met its match in the Swedish air defense missile system RBS 70, which has quickly led to significant losses for the Russian helicopter forces.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) held a party conference on July 29-30 to select candidates for the upcoming EU election next year. EU Parliament member Maximilian Krah, belonging to the party's more radical, ethnonationalist faction, was appointed as the top candidate. The party's two spokespersons delivered powerful speeches criticizing the EU's failed migration policy and trade sanctions that isolate Europe and Germany from the rest of the world. They argued that it's time for the EU to return a significant portion of its power to national parliaments. However, they have dropped the demand for Germany to exit the EU.
The rising popularity of AfD has raised strong concerns within the establishment. Despite lies and demonization in the media and isolation from the overall political establishment, the party continues to grow. Certain representatives of the party are accused of becoming increasingly "extreme," and in an unusual move, the influential weekly newspaper Der Spiegel demanded that AfD be "banned."
What is happening in the Netherlands? It is often difficult to follow events in other countries, especially when distorted by system media. We give Forum for Democracy (FvD) the opportunity to speak out on the political situation in the Netherlands and the staunch resistance they face in trying to save the country.
After a criminal complaint in Belgium against the President of the European Commission, the so-called SMS-case, now takes a new turn. The judge responsible for the investigation will likely gain access to the secret messages exchanged between Ursula von der Leyen and Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, at least if they haven't been deleted.
Arktos has distinguished itself by publishing groundbreaking philosophers and social critics. Now, the publisher's international distributor has abruptly terminated the cooperation, and more than 400 already printed titles cannot reach their audience. There is strong evidence that the distributor has been under pressure, something that has also happened in Sweden. We have spoken with Arktos founder Daniel Friberg about the ongoing struggle for freedom of speech in a shrinking cultural corridor.
The Catholic bishops of the Scandinavian countries presented an open five-page letter criticizing transgender ideology on March 21, just before Easter. The document primarily expresses care and advice and was read aloud in Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the signatories of the document.