The Bavarian conservative Christian Democratic Party (CSU) ruled out any coalition with the far right after the Italian Lega party of Matteo Salvini made advances to edge closer towards the centre-right European Peoples Party (EPP).
According to several Italian media reports, Lega is currently considering changing its position in Europe and is growing increasingly uneasy with being in the same political family as right-wing parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD).
However, at the political assembly of the EPP on Thursday, CSU head Markus Söder said a coalition with Salvini is unlikely.
Also read: Salvini’s Lega eyes EPP, wants distance from Le Pen
“It is hard to imagine a coalition between the EPP and the far right,” Söder said in response to a question about a potential alliance with Salvini or the governing Brothers of Italy of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Meloni, whose party is widely regarded in Germany as being post-fascist, has reportedly also attempted to move closer towards the EPP. In January, she met with EPP chief Manfred Weber to forge closer ties with the centre-right.
However, German conservatives quickly ruled out any potential coalition with the Brothers of Italy.
“There is no reason for further cooperation with the other parties of the Italian government in the European Parliament, as long as they cooperate with openly anti-European forces such as the German AfD,” foreign policy spokesperson of the CDU/CSU party group in the Bundestag, Jürgen Hardt, told EURACTIV at the time.
[Eleonora Vasques contributed reporting]
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