Guy Verhofstadt is a Flemish politician who currently leads the parliamentary group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament. Mr. Verhofstadt is the founder of the Spinelli Group, which is named for the Italian Communist Altiero Spinelli, one of the fathers of the European Union.
Mr. Verhofstadt is best-known, however, as one of the most dedicated promoters of “an ever-closer union” in the EU, and often acts as a bully-boy against any politician from any member state that acts against the interests of the EU, as he sees it. His most recent targets have been in Hungary and Italy, for obvious reasons.
Giuseppe Conte is the current prime minister of Italy for the coalition government of the M5S and the Lega. In the following video Mr. Verhofstadt accuses Mr. Conte of being a puppet for Matteo Salvini (Lega) and Luigi Di Maio (M5S). Mr. Conte’s response follows.
Many thanks to He Ha for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
|00:00||That’s why, Mr. Conte, today I am sad watching Italy’s political degeneration.|
|00:09||Bad governance has gotten worse under your government.|
|00:18||That’s the problem. Under Salvini and Di Maio.|
|00:24||The real chiefs of this government.|
|00:29||A government that has often an anti-European stance, Mr. Conte.|
|00:34||So my question to you is, Prime Minister Conte: “How long will you go on being Salvini’s and Di Maio’s puppet?”|
|00:47||A politician here, who is supposed to lead a parliamentarian group called me — who represent the Italian people — a puppet.|
|00:57||I am not a puppet. I don’t feel like one.|
|01:01||I proudly represent an entire nation.|
|01:06||I proudly represent the Italian people’s desire for change.|
|01:14||I proudly express the synthesis of a government that is no puppet because it doesn’t obey certain financial lobbies.|
|01:28||And doesn’t obey business committees.|
|01:30||Puppets are those who obey certain financial lobbies, certain powerful corporations and business committees.