Le Pen and Salvini meet, brand EU leaders 'enemies of Europe'

Far-right leaders meet: Marine Le Pen and Italy's Matteo Salvini
Far-right leaders meet: Marine Le Pen and Italy's Matteo Salvini Copyright Reuters
By Amy Chung with Reuters
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Far right leaders meet: Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and France's Marine Le Pen held a press conference saying there must be an alternative Europe and that EU commission president Jean-Claude Junker and economic minister Pierre Moscovici - are enemies of Europe

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Populists Marine Le Pen of France and Italy’s Matteo Salvini met in Rome on Monday, blasting European Union chiefs as the "enemy" of Europe.

During a press conference in Rome earlier today, Salvini called EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici as the "enemies" of Europe, barricading themselves in the bunkers of Brussels and refusing to leave their post. 

Salvini referred to Juncker's austerity measures as to why Europe is facing fear and job insecurity.

Both Salvini and Le Pen predicted that the European Parliament elections in May 2019 will bring about a dramatic change in the European political landscape with the populist vote. Both countries are dealing with high unemployment and migration and want to see these two problems rectified with more jobs, less austerity, and less open borders

"Together with Matteo (Salvini) we are not fighting against Europe but against the European Union which has become a totalitarian system and we fight against the European Union in order to save the true Europe," said Le Pen, a former French presidential candidate.

Salvini hit back at those who criticised his budget to increase deficit spending next year, saying he will not cave to market pressures.

“If one had evil thoughts, he would think there are people betting on the spread because they don’t want Italy to grow and create jobs,” Salvini said, noting the gap between Italy’s benchmark 10-year bonds and the German equivalent had widened on Monday.

“We will not backtrack, we will not backtrack,” Salvini said of the government’s budget plans, adding that “speculators acting like (George) Soros are betting on Italy’s collapse to buy at discount prices the healthy companies, and there are many of them, that have remained in this country.”

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