V4 Report: French President Emmanuel Macron – trying to influence the Italian elections – sings the praises of anti-Visegrad PM Paolo Gentiloni.
There is one problem: Despite his “delusions of grandeur”, Macron has little influence beyond his own country. We believe Gentiloni’s Democratic Party will be rejected by Italians. Matteo Renzi and Gentiloni, who were both appointed and not elected, embraced mass migration and “open entry”, which has rightly infuriated Italians. They have lost control and are held hostage by the actions of others.
A Gentiloni defeat would represent another blow to the credibility of the EU and Emmanuel Macron.
– According to Reuters, Macron told reporters at the end of a two-day visit to Rome that he had no intention of interfering in the Italian ballot, which is set for March 4.
However, Macron could not resist praising the pro-EU candidate. “It is up to Italians to decide how to vote, but let me say that Europe has been very lucky to have Gentiloni and I hope we can continue the work that we have started,” he told a news conference, standing alongside the Italian leader.
Gentiloni’s Democratic Party (PD) is trailing in the opinion polls to both the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and a center-right bloc that includes the conservative Northern League party and the nationalist Brothers of Italy. We strongly prefer the Northern League and leader Matteo Salvini, despite the presence of Berlusconi in the coalition.
All the main opposition parties are seen as hostile to Brussels to various degrees and all are seeking significant changes to EU budget rules. The League is a fierce opponent of mass migration and supported the Visegrad nations in their dispute with Gentiloni.
Macron promotes a powerful EU to be steered by France and Germany. Macron stressed the importance of a united and active EU.
“Can I say that the European Union is positive for Italy, and can I also say that an Italy which believes in Europe is positive for Europe,” Macron said. A fancy statement but without much substance, which we think describes Macron very well.
Some needed change may finally be reaching the West. We wish Mr. Salvini and the Italians the best.