Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
STRASBURG

EPP caucus leader Daul backs Monti as premier

English
© ANSA

Strasburg, January 15 - Joseph Daul, caucus leader
of the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) in the
European Parliament on Tuesday gave his official backing to the
bid by Italy's outgoing technocrat premier Mario Monti to return
to office in elections at the end of February.
Early this year Monti threw his hat into the ring at the
helm of a small centrist grouping that includes the centrist
Catholic UDC led by Pierferdinando Casini and the tiny FLI of
the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies (lower house), Gianfranco
Fini.
''The EPP's candidate is Mr Monti,'' said Daul.
''But, as always in Italy, the situation is very
complicated because we also have UDC and (Silvio) Berlusconi's
party, which are all members of the EPP,'' he added.
Daul also stood by comments made in December against ex-
premier Berlusconi, who is currently leading the centre right's
election campaign, for his alleged populist and anti-European
stance.
''I have never made statements to the wind and so you can
be sure that my opinion has not changed,'' said the Frenchman.
''It's just that by attacking Mr Berlusconi every day I do
not want to give him reason to attack me back and talk about
'this horrible Europe', 'this horrible Merkel' or 'these
horrible French' and say 'see how they behave'.
Now that we are into the election campaign I want to
respect voters and Italian citizens. And I do not need to gift
2-3% to populism,'' Daul concluded.
His comments were slammed by several representatives of
Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party.
Berlusconi, who has has challenged Monti's endorsement by
the EPP, on Monday stressed his credentials as a Catholic
candidate, saying he attended Mass daily.

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