Italy’s Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen confirmed their far-right alliance ahead of next year’s EU elections and highlighted their anti-immigration platform to supporters.
Speaking at a Northern League rally in Pontida on Sunday, Matteo Salvini and Marine Le Pen put up a united front against Europe and “migratory submersion.” They also focused on the importance of “the people” and “identity” as part of an early start to garner support ahead of next year’s European elections.
“We are defending our traditions, our gastronomy, our identities, our landscapes (…) we are defending our peoples against the flood of migrants”, said Marine Le Pen, referring to the thousands of migrants who have arrived this week on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Speaking to his supporters, Salvini vowed he would do everything that was “democratically permitted” to stop a so-called invasion.
The rally comes on the back of a visit from the head of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Lion to the Italian island of Lampedusa – which is experiencing a record number of migrant arrivals this year.
The political alliance between Ms Le Pen and Matteo Salvini appears to have been unbreakable over the last ten years or so and is also a testament to the strength of their personal relationship.
In national politics, Marine Le Pen is in opposition and Matteo Salvini is part of the right-wing and far-right coalition government led by Giorgia Meloni. However, while the French politician and her National Rally party are flying high in the opinion polls, her Italian counterpart and his Northern League are languishing at 8-9% – far behind Meloni and her Italian Brotherhood.
In other words, one seems to need the other more than the other, especially as the National Rally scored very high in the last two European elections.