Berlusconi's party slams Rehn's claims
'Unacceptable interference,' says PdL Secretary Alfano29 January, 15:32
"It's unacceptable that Olli Rehn, the vice-president of an independent institution like the European Commission, should intervene in the election campaign of a member state, and should do so with false, technically incorrect statements that are easy to refute," said PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano.
"Such clear interference undermines the image of the European Commission and encourages populism and anti-European feelings at a delicate time for relations between the EU and the public of the individual countries". Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, an Italian who is a member of the PdL and one of the five EC vice-presidents, like Rehn, was angry too. "I disassociate myself from the statement about Italy by my colleague Olli Rehn, which threatens to make the European Commission appear not to be independent, and I am sorry about it," said Tajani.
Renato Brunetta, the civil service minister in Berlusconi's 2008-2011 government, said Rehn's comments defamed Italy and called for a European Parliament inquiry. photo: Silvio Berlusconi and Angelino Alfano (right).