Italy’s opposition leader Matteo Salvini launched a scathing attack against the Italian government and the European Union as he accused Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of agreeing to a new pact selling out “national sovereignty” to Brussels. Mr Salvini claimed the Italian Prime Minister signed up a new pact on modifying the European Stability Mechanism without consulting Parliament, demanding Mr Conte clarifies his position on whether he agreed to “shave off the savings of Italians.” Speaking to supporters on Facebook, the Lega leader said: “It appears in the past few months, Conte or someone else overnight, and in secret, signed up to a pact with Europe to chance the ESM, in other words, the authorisation to shave off the savings of Italians
“We will not let it pass. It would be high treason if someone had agreed to change the state-saving fund to a state-killing fund without consulting the Parliament.”
The European Stability Mechanism is an institution the 19 eurozone members signed up to in the middle of the debts crisis in 2012 to retire the former European Fund of Economic Stability.
The ESM has often been associated with the term ‘State-saving fund” as the organisation was created to provide members with financial support to struggling states in exchange for signing up to strict rules to control public accounts.
Mr Salvini renewed his accusations in a series of Tweets published on his personal social media account, writing: “ESM? Only Lega voted it down. It’s a crime against workers and Italian savers.
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“If someone signed up to something without the People not knowing, let’s solve the problem now before it’s too late. Otherwise, it’s treason.”
Lega was indeed the only party in Government to vote against fiscal compact and EMS rules when put to Parliament in 2012, with some commentators close to the right-wing party questioning whether Italy agreeing to the new legislation had started a “European dictatorship.”
In another tweet, Mr Salvini added: “Conte must go to Parliament straight away to speak the truth.
“Saying yes to changing the ESM would mean ruin for millions of Italian and the end of national sovereignty.”
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Addressing the press on Monday, Prime Minister Conte said: “I have never signed up to an unfavourable amendment to our interest and I will never do so, not even of treaties.
“The Parliament has chosen not to express a positive evaluation when it comes to reform projects.”
Five Star Movement (M5S) members of the Italian Finance Commission have urged the Government to ensure updates on changes to the EMS are “transparent”.
In a statement, M5S MPs said: “Debate on the EMS must be transparent and Parliament cannot be kept in the dark on negotiation progress and no pejorative reform of the EMS is acceptable.”