ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s coalition parties clashed on Wednesday over the election of Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen as the next president of the European Commission, in a vote that could endanger Rome’s hopes of securing a top job in the new EU executive.
While the anti-system 5-Star Movement endorsed von der Leyen in Tuesday’s ballot in the European Parliament, the far-right League denounced her as a representative of old-school, mainstream EU politics that it wants dismantled.
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“By voting for Ursula von der Leyen, Di Maio has betrayed Italian interests,” the League said on Twitter, referring to 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio.
Von der Leyen secured victory by just nine votes, meaning the support of 5-Star was vital — a fact that the Italian group hopes will stand it in good stead in the future political horse-trading in Brussels.
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“The League has decided to condemn itself to irrelevance (by opposing von der Leyen),” 5-Star said in a statement.
Indeed, the League, which is headed by Matteo Salvini, might pay an immediate price for emphatically rejecting von der Leyen.
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Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters earlier this month he had extracted a promise from other EU leaders to obtain an important economic portfolio in the next Commission.
Each of the 28 EU member states has a commissioner but von der Leyen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has to...
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The beatings will continue until moral improves.