Salvini, Berlusconi back Orban

League leader says has no problems with allies over Hungary

(ANSA) - Rome, September 11 - Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Tuesday that the MEPs of his League party will vote against a motion in the European Parliament to start the so-called Article 7 procedure against Hungary over alleged violations of the rule of law. Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia is also set to back Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban. But the MEPs of the 5-Star Movement, the League's government coalition partner, are going to vote in favour of Hungary being censured.
    "We'll vote in defence of Orban," Salvini said.
    "The European Parliament cannot put peoples and elected governments on trial". Salvini said it was not be an issue for the ruling coalition that the M5S have adopted a different stance.
    "There is no problem with the M5S over the vote against Orban," Salvini said. "Everyone is free to choose what to do. The League in Europe chooses freedom". Sources said Berlusconi had called Orban to reassure him that FI would vote against.
    FI and Orban's Fidesz party are both in the European People's Party (EPP).