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No more time for opposition divisions, vetoes - Schlein

No more time for opposition divisions, vetoes - Schlein

Good EU election showing makes 'PD more aware of responsibility'

ROME, 11 June 2024, 14:40

ANSA English Desk



Democratic Party (PD) leader Elly Schlein on Tuesday reiterated her appeal for Italy's opposition parties to join forces to form a credible alternative to Premier Giorgia Meloni's ruling coalition after her centre-left group registered a strong showing in the European elections.
    "The Democratic Party is the undisputed cornerstone of the construction of the alternative (to the ruling coalition)," Schlein told a meeting of PD lawmakers.
    "We feel this responsibility even stronger (after the EU vote), I ask you to continue to be stubbornly pro-unity.
    "It's not doctor's orders. There are differences, but they can give value to a shared programme on the things we can do together.
    "Let's hope that the results of the last few days have convinced everyone that there's no more time for divisions and vetoes." The PD won 24.08% of the vote in the EU election, up from around 19% in the 2022 Italian general election, and came second only to Meloni's right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party with 28.8%, up from 26%.
    "It is an extraordinary result for us, but it is a starting point, not a final destination," said Schlein.
    "We must continue to hammer away to nail Meloni on social and wage-related issues".
    The performance of the opposition parties in the European elections was mixed.
    The Green-Left Alliance (AVS) did better than expected, gaining 6.7%, and it and the PD were the only groups to attract more voters in absolute terms with respect to the last general election.
    But the 5-Star Movement (M5S) got only 9.9% , down from over 15% in the 2022 general election.
    Two centrist opposition groups, the United States of Europe (SUE) list of ex-premier Matteo Renzi and former foreign minister and European Commissioner Emma Bonino, and former industry minister's Carlo Calenda's Azione both failed to make the 4% threshold needed to have MEPs elected.
    Azione and Renzi's Italia Viva (IV) party ran together in the 2022 general election as the 'Third Pole' and got over 7% of the vote.
    "We are the party that has grown the most since the general election, with five percentage points more," Schlein said.
    "Along with AVS, we have more votes in absolute terms (with respect to the general election), while FdI has lost votes.
    "We have halved the distance with FdI. It was two million and now it is one million.
    "We're coming".


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