Incumbent president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani (Forza Italia) expressed his readiness to seek for the second mandate.
“I think the EU institutions need an Italian at their head,” he told reporters during his attendance at European People’s party Helsinki congress.
“I’m ready to stand again, if there are the conditions, obviously inside the parliament, and if there is a good electoral result for the European People’s Party to lead the EP for the next two and a half years”.
Previously the position of the speaker of the European parliament was a subject for rotation each two and a half years between two major political groups. The tradition was ended by Socialists & Democrats, who promoted their leader Martin Schulz (Germany) for two successive terms.
Silvio Berlusconi supports his ally, the leader of the Lega Nord party, Matteo Salvini in his bid for the negotiations in forming of the Italian government.
The leader of Forza Italia, and a former prime minister, Berlusconi confirmed that his pre-election coalition pact between Lega Nord and his own Forza party is valid, and the would back Salvini’s efforts in assembling a new government.
“In full respect of our agreement, we will now loyally support attempts by Salvini to form a government,” Berlusconi said. “I am here to support him, to guarantee the solidity of the coalition and keep our commitments with the voters.”
Italians demonstrate high level of participation at polling stations on Sunday to vote in an election after a campaign marked by a profound discontent over the economy, unemployment and mass immigration from Africa.
Pollsters forecast indicates that former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right party Forza Italia and his far-right allies Lega Nord will become the largest bloc in parliament, however the chances to win majority are feeble.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is leading as the biggest single party, embracing wide discontent over corruption and poverty, while the ruling center-left bloc led by the Democratic Party is following in third place.
The elections have been animated by an activist of FEMEN, who attacked Silvio Berlusconi, while he was intending to drop his ballot. She screamed and yelled at Berlusconi, sending him home for being too old for the political contest for country’s leadership.
Raise of crime, violence, and especially rape are fuelling anti-immigrant sentiment in Italy ahead of elections due early next year, when problems caused by illegal mass migration are firmly on the top the political agenda.
Anti mass-migration politicians accuse the center-left government of failing to guarantee the border controls, allowing flows of Africans to enter the country illegally over the past four years, with a steep rise of arrival last year. Different estimates claim between 600 000 and one million illegals to land on Italian coasts.
“There are too many of them. I will send quite a few home,” Matteo Salvini, the head of the Lega Nord, wrote on Twitter this week after police said a Bangladeshi migrant had been arrested in Rome on suspicion of raping a Finnish baby-sitter.
The Rome case occurred two weeks after a young couple of Polish tourists ended in hospital after robbery and gang rape by four African migrants, three of them claimed being minors, on a beach in the Adriatic popular resort of Rimini.
The leader of the gang was named as a Congolese asylum-seeker who had been allowed to stay in Italy on humanitarian grounds. The other three were Moroccan brothers, and a a Nigerian.
“A gang of Maghreb worms,” said Georgia Meloni, head of the Fratelli d’Italia party, which is expected to be allied with the Lega Nord and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party at the election.
A recent opinion poll in La Repubblica newspaper showed 46% of Italians thought migrants represented a threat to their personal safety and to public order against 40% in the previous survey in February.
Italy’s center-right parties were the big winners in mayoral elections on Sunday, partial results showed, in a vote likely to put pressure on the center-left government ahead of national elections due in less than a year.
In the most closely watched contest, the northern port city of Genoa – a traditional left-wing stronghold – seemed certain to pass to the center-right for the first time in more than 50 years.
The candidate backed by the anti-immigrant Northern League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party will get around 54 percent of the vote, compared with 46 percent for the candidate backed by the ruling Democratic Party (PD), according to final projections based on the vote count.
The elections are a setback for PD leader and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who took a back seat in campaigning after seeing his party roiled by internal divisions this year.