“Cooperation with anti-democrats”
Weber criticized for supporting Berlusconi
9/9/2022, 12:21 p.m
Proximity to Putin and parties with minors: This is how Italy’s ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi repeatedly made headlines. The CSU European politician Manfred Weber is now supporting him in the Italian parliamentary elections. Critics fear new anti-European forces from the right.
Leading European politicians from the SPD, Greens, FDP and Left have sharply criticized CSU European politician Manfred Weber’s campaign support for Italy’s ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Weber is strengthening anti-European forces with his election campaign for the legal alliance that Berlusconi is striving for, said Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), about Lower Bavaria’s commitment. In order to stay in power, they cooperate with “anti-democrats”.
The spokesman for the German Greens in Parliament, Rasmus Andresen, and the FDP politician Nicola Beer were similarly critical. Andresen said: “Berlusconi is a shady politician who has had to answer several times for corruption and other affairs,” he said. It is strange that Weber supports Berlusconi so openly. Politician Beer, who, like Barley, is Vice-President of the European Parliament, commented that Berlusconi was “not worth supporting”.
Unclear relationship with Putin and parties
Weber had recently advertised in conversation with the media for the 85-year-old Berlusconi and his party Forza Italia. This belongs to the largest European family of parties, the EPP, which Weber has chaired for a few months. According to current polls, Berlusconi’s Forza Italia could be among the winners of the parliamentary elections in Italy on September 25 as part of a tripartite alliance. The favorite for the post of head of government is Giorgia Meloni from the extreme right-wing and nationalist party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy). In addition, the right-wing populist Lega with Matteo Salvini is considered a possible part of a government majority. Berlusconi himself is running for the Senate, the smaller of the two chambers of Parliament.
Berlusconi is controversial, among other things, because of his unclear relationship with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin and previous scandals. There is still a corruption case against him for so-called “bunga-bunga parties” with underage women. In previous processes related to the parties, he had been acquitted of abuse of office and promotion of prostitution by minors for lack of evidence.
“Berlusconi wants to pave the way for fascists”
The Italian daily Corriere della Sera recently quoted Weber as saying that anyone who wants the future centre-right majority in Italy to be pro-European must vote for Berlusconi and his party colleague Antonio Tajani. Weber was alluding to the fact that, unlike Salvini and Meloni, Berlusconi and Tajani are clearly pro-European.
The co-leader of the left, Martin Schirdewan, criticized: “Berlusconi has announced that he wants to enter into an alliance with the Italian fascists and smooth their way to power.” If you vote for Berlusconi, you vote for Meloni. Weber’s behavior was irresponsible, said the MEP.