Salvini slams inadequate aid package and declares rising energy prices a ‘national emergency’

The rise in gas and electricity prices is more pressing than next week’s presidential election, Salvini claims

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Magyar Hírlap
Deputy-Premier and leader of the League party Matteo Salvini addresses a rally in Rome's Piazza del Popolo, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

The rise in gas and electricity prices plaguing thousands of families and businesses was the most pressing problem for the Italian government led by Mario Draghi, League leader Matteo Salvini said at an impromptu press conference on the streets of Rome on Monday.

Matteo Salvini called the “double, triple” rise in energy prices a national emergency. He explained that rising gas and electricity prices are forcing thousands of families to live in the “dark and cold” and threatening to shut down thousands of businesses.

The leader of the League voiced his call for an immediate government meeting to decide later this week how best to support families and businesses affected by the energy surge. Salvini said the €3 billion aid package planned by the government was not enough, as families would need €50 billion and companies more than €30 billion from the budget to compensate for rising energy bills.

The League leader added that he considers the implementation of government measures more important than the election of the head of state starting next Monday. He also called for support of nightclubs closed as a result of the pandemic restrictions, as well as for those working in tourism and culture, who are also disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Responding to a question about the presidential election, Salvini said the right was waiting for Silvio Berlusconi to “close the meetings and count.” The leader of the League has indicated that former prime minister Berlusconi, President of Forza Italia (FI), has not yet officially announced whether or not he will run for the seat of Italy’s thirteenth head of state. He has however been consulting with members of parliament and counting his chances in the multi-round presidential election, in which he should gain at least an absolute majority for the appointment of head of state.

Matteo Salvini said the Brothers of Italy (FdI), the League and its allies will hold another meeting this week, noting that the right “wants a quick presidential election with a high-level candidate.”

Salvini added that the left, which has held the presidential position in recent decades, even though it currently has a majority in parliament, is still unable to nominate an independent candidate. He claimed the Left Democratic Party (PD) could not agree on a joint candidate with the Five Star Movement (M5S) less than a week before the presidential election.

Analysts have pointed out that in a state of emergency, the PD could seek agreement with the right, which could increase the role of the League and Forza Italia in the election of the next head of state.

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