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Italy's Five Star chooses UKIP for European Parliament alliance

brussels bureau

Italy's Five Star chooses UKIP for European Parliament alliance


Members of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement have voted to form an alliance with UKIP’s Nigel Farage in the European Parliament.

Seventy-eight percent of those who voted backed the Italian comedian’s anti-establishment party teaming up with the British eurosceptic outfit.

The two parties will meet in Brussels on Tuesday.

Dutch firebrand Geert Wilders and France’s Marine Le Pen want to form their own eurosceptic group.

They have found potential allies from Austria, Belgium and Italy.

But a parliamentary group needs at least 25 MEPs from seven different countries.

Germany’s anti-euro Alternativ Fur Deutschland will sit with Britain’s Conservative Party, causing further friction between London and Berlin.

The two countries disagree over who should run the European Commission.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats sit in the centre-right European People’s Party, which won the most seats in May’s elections.

MEPs argue this means their ‘top candidate’, Jean-Claude Juncker, should take over the reins of the EU executive.

“Unfortunately we observe a dirty campaign against Mr Juncker and I think that this isn’t the way that we should proceed as democrats.”

Forming a political group in the European Parliament provides MEPs with more clout…and more important, more financial resources.

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brussels bureau