Salvini ‘concerned’ about new leftist European Commission president
Italian Deputy Premier and League party leader Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday that he was "concerned" about the election of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
“We saw a president of the European Commission chosen by Merkel and backed by Macron, Renzi and Berlusconi and the 5-Stars, leaning very far to the left on some issues like economic growth and border control, and we are concerned,” said the Interior Minister, who has instituted a closed-ports policy for migrant rescue NGO ships.
“She passed by nine votes, it’s as if in Italy there was a [leftwing] PD-FI-M5S government. So what change does she represent? I’m proud of the coherence and loyalty shown by the MEPs of the League [in not voting for her],” Salvini said.
In Germany, Uwe Junge, head of the AfD parliamentary group in the Landtag of Rhineland-Palatinate, caused outrage with his criticism of the replacement of Von der Leyen, new Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).
“When will the generals finally stand up?” Junge asked on Twitter on Wednesday morning.
Martin Haller, the parliamentary managing director of the SPD faction in Mainz, said: “Does that mean he is in favor of a coup by soldiers?” Anyone who expresses this as a member of the Bundeswehr “distanced himself as much as possible from the values and norms that the army lives on a daily basis and defends”.
Junge justified his statement several hours later: “Despite all loyalty, the military leadership must occasionally comment! The fine line between loyalty and corpse-like obedience is feasible and is expected!” He said the citizen in uniform should not only be taking orders from superiors.
The CDU leader Kramp-Karrenbauer was appointed on Wednesday as the new Minister of Defense. In the late morning she received her certificate of appointment in Bellevue Castle in Berlin from the Deputy Federal Council President, Berlin’s head of government Michael Müller (SPD).
The former Minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) will be joining the European Commission in Brussels in November.