The Trump of Europe: Catching Up with Italy’s Matteo Salvini, the New Strongman of Europe
Guest post by Ted Malloch
Matteo Salvini’s Common Sense
Author, Consultant and Former Diplomat Ted Malloch and Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini
Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and minister of Interior of Italy, is the head of the centre-right, Lege political party, and the most important ‘rising star’ in European politics. His polls have skyrocketed since taking office and he is universally viewed as the new strongman of Europe. His nickname is Il Capitano.
Meeting with informal advisor, and long time friend, Ted Malloch in Viminali Palace in Rome, Salvini boasted about Malloch’s new book Common Sense Business on common sense business and economics, suggesting we need to reorient our thinking to prudence and markets and away from the peril of globalism and crony capitalism.
In a wide-ranging discussion with Malloch and his colleague, Federico Arata, a strong supporter of the new government, Salvini stressed four things demonstrating his sheer command of issues and as the most common sense political leader since Ronald Reagan.
Salvini is nothing less than the Trump of Europe.
First, he controversially said Italy would back the Theresa May government in the UK as it leaves the European Union. He stated that the EU is not to be trusted and had “swindled” (the Italian word translates as “screwed”) the UK as it had others in various negotiations.
Salvini, who was previously a EU MEP in the Europe of Nations and Freedom faction, of that body knows well that the EU transgresses on national sovereignty and has a philosophy that contradicts the values of the majority of the peoples of Europe. Salvini said he wants a new kind of EU, one that is smaller, less bureaucratic, and that devolves power back to member nation states.
Second, Salvini suggested that the immigration crisis is paralyzing Europe and changing its very nature. He has set out a policy to change that and is now sending ships with illegal immigrants back to Libya and deporting illegal persons from the streets of Italy. He is in the same vein also committed to a pro-family policy to insure that Italy repopulates itself. With a weak birth rate, he thinks the family needs to be at the core of decision-making and will be the real legacy of this government.
Third, the dynamic and charismatic politician has made ending crime a highest priority for his ministry. His administration is striking out to curtail organized crime, human trafficking, and narcotics. He is calling a first ever summit in the heart of Calabria next month to launch a series of efforts to coordinate activities to vigorously go after the mafia.
Finally, Salvini is firmly committed to a 15 per cent flat tax, which was his party’s rallying cry in the recent election. Trying to revive the Italian economy and its enterprises, Salvini wants to go down in history as a pro-market, enterprise friendly politician and believes the best way to achieve this is by instituting a flat tax. This would make the world take notice and incentivize capital markets to do business in Italy. It would benefit Italy’s important SME sector, while creating jobs and stronger economic growth.