Long Live Free, Strong and Sovereign Italy!

The polls will close shortly in Italy, and the counting will begin. It seems likely that the right-wing alliance — Fratelli d’Italia, the Lega, and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia — will win a majority and form a new government, with Giorgia Merloni acting as prime minister.

Several days ago Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, issued a warning to the Italian electorate about how it should vote. Her remarks included the threat that the European Union will intervene, using its “tools” (presumably the denial of EU funds) against Italians should they vote wrong.

Below is a composite of two video clips showing the reaction of former (and probably future) Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to Ms. Von der Leyen’s threat. Many thanks to HeHa and Gary Fouse for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript (times are from the original separate clips):

00:00   “If Italy goes in a difficult direction, we have tools”.
00:04   Have you read that? That’s insane, that’s bullying.
00:09   These are threats, from the president of the European Commission.
00:17   That political body over there —
00:20   who pays for the President of the European Commission’s paycheck? You guys do.
00:24   And this woman said that if Italians vote wrong, next Sunday,
00:28   if the situation gets difficult, she will intervene.
00:33   The EU has “tools” to intervene.
00:36   Shame on you! Apologize to the Italian people, who are free to vote for whomever they want.
00:40   Including and especially, the League and Salvini.
00:43   What is that? A threat? Will you take away EU funds from us?
00:47   Shall we cancel the National Recovery Plan? And by the way,
00:50   speaking of what the European Commission does
00:53   in order to help Italians pay for the power bills or to defend our borders, well, let’s drop it!
00:56   I want the EU to defend its own citizens, its own workers.
00:59   I want the EU to protect democracy and to respect the free popular vote.
01:03   Shame on you, Ursula Von der Leyen.
01:08   You are supposed to represent me, the Italian people.
01:11   “If Italians vote wrong, we will intervene.”
01:17   This is not the free and democratic Europe where I want to raise my children.
01:23   Long live free, strong and sovereign Italy,
01:28   in spite of you.
00:00   They are somewhere between institutional bullying
00:04   and a kind of threat… that I don’t like.
00:09   What does that mean because the president of the European Commission
00:13   represents all European citizens. She also represents all Italians.
00:17   If… I read… I re-read it because they could have made a mistake, they may have translated it badly.
00:22   “We will see how the elections go. If there are difficulties,
00:25   we have the instruments to intervene.”
00:28   So what does that mean, that if the Lega and the center-right wins, shut off the funds of the PNR?
00:32   I’ll translate. What does it mean, “We will have the instruments to intervene”?
00:36   This is an embarrassing vulgarity,
00:40   and instead of working to find a ceiling, a “price cap”
00:44   to help with those energy costs that threaten Italian entrepreneurs…

6 thoughts on “Long Live Free, Strong and Sovereign Italy!

  1. Maybe v. d. Leyden was remembering the ‘Waldheim Affair’ of 1986 when Austria voted the wrong way making him president and the wrath of the international community descended upon Austria.
    The hypocrisy of the EU never ceases to amaze and infuriate. Better if these countries could do without EU funds…As long as they take the money there will always be something with which to cudgel ‘wrong thinkers’.

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