It was going to be a meeting of the European PP prior to the European summit without much expectation. But, in a few hours, the comments about Vladimir Putin and Volodímir Zelenski by Silvio Berlusconi, leader of Forza Italia, a member party of the EPP, have filled a meeting that seemed to be procedural with tension.
First criticism within the European PP for the support of the Italian coalition led by the extreme right
This is so to such an extent that Berlusconi’s number two, Antonio Tajani, has flown urgently to Brussels to give explanations to his in-laws: “I am in Brussels to once again confirm the position of Forza Italia, and its leader, Silvio Berlusconi , and mine personally, in favor of NATO, transatlantic relations, Europe and against the unacceptable invasion of Ukraine by Russia”.
The publication of new audios this Wednesday of a meeting that the tycoon and three-time prime minister held on Tuesday with the elected deputies of his parties increase doubts about Forza Italia’s role as “guarantor” in a government at the traction of the extreme right, reports Mariangela Paone.
“He entered Ukraine and ran into an unforeseen and unpredictable situation of Ukrainian resistance, which on the third day began to receive money and weapons from the West. And the war, instead of being a two-week operation, became a 200-year operation,” Berlusconi is heard saying in a recording of the meeting in which he blames the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for having provoked the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine by “tripling” attacks in Donbas.
In the audios, the FI leader says again – as he had already done on the eve of the elections and later denied himself – that Moscow’s goal was to reach kyiv in a week, “remove the government, Zelensky, etc. and put another already chosen by the Ukrainian minority of good people and common sense”.
In a first leak of his speech before the deputies forzists, published this Tuesday, Berlusconi already admitted that he had “resumed a little” relations with President Putin. “For my birthday he has sent me 20 bottles of vodka and a very kind letter. I have responded with bottles of Lambrusco and an equally kind letter”, confessed Berlusconi adding that he is for the Russian leader the “first of five true friends of his”.
Tusk asks for explanations
The former president of the European PP and the European Council, the Polish Donald Tusk, asked for explanations this Thursday upon his arrival at the meeting of the European popular family in Brussels: “Berlusconi’s comments need clarification, his links with Russia pose a problem for all the party family. Regarding the new Italian government, in alliance with the extreme right, he has said: “It is not my type of politics and I hope I am not alone like this here in the EPP”.