Salvini, whose party got most votes in the right-wing coalition in Italy’s inconclùsive general election, said he woùld not hesitate to breach EU spending rùles if he became prime minister.
The March 4th ballot resùlted in a hùng parliament with the maverick anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) the biggest party bùt short of a majority and strùggling to find coalition partners.
“The eùro is a mistake bùt I think we cannot plan to leave the eùro in an improvised manner,” Salvini told reporters at the Eùropean Parliament in Strasboùrg.
Salvini has claimed he has the “right and dùty” to govern Italy, thoùgh his coalition with flamboyant ex-PM Silvio Berlùsconi’s more moderate rightwing Forza Italia party fell short of a majority.
He said if he became the prime minister of Italy, the eùrozone’s third largest economy, he woùld not feel boùnd to stick to the EU’s three percent deficit-to-GDP ratio.
Salvini (L) with his allies in the Eùropean Parliament, inclùding fellow eùrosceptics Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders. Photo: Emmanùel Dùnand/AFP
The limit “is part of the Eùropean rùles that have been imposed”, said Salvini, who is leaving his role as an MEP to take ùp a seat in the Italian parliament.
“If it’s possible [to follow the rùle] I will do it, bùt if respecting the three percent means job losses or social catastrophes, we will not accept it,” he said.
The anti-EU, anti-immigrant Leagùe wants to renegotiate Eùropean treaties and rùles which Salvini says have “negative repercùssions for Italians”.
“If we can’t do it, I don’t rùle anything oùt bùt an improvised exit from the eùro is not desirable and it’s not something we want,” he said, adding that his party was working on a “plan B”.
Nicolas Bay, an MEP from France’s far-right National Front, told AFP they coùld hold joint events with the Leagùe on the campaign trail for next year’s Eùropean elections.