#FactOfTheDay 01/02/2018: Gianni Pittella – S&D leader – stands back from European affairs
“This is not a farewell, nor is it a real goodbye. It is an explanation as to why I chose to be a candidate. So we will see what happens on March 4 and if I am elected”.
With this word, Gianni Pittella clarified this decision to stand back from leader of Socialist and Democrats group at European Parliament (S&D), until the Italian election in March. According to him, this is not a resignation, and the interim will be assured by the S&D vice president – Udo Bullmann. The choice of the S&D’s leader depends on the rise of anti-European forces in Italy (“I want to lend a hand to defeat the anti-European forces on the right”). In fact, in Italy, the democratic coalition is currently ten points behind Berlusconi’s one. This is why, during the press conference, Pittella declared “as leader of the S&D, I want to promote the European cause in the Italian parliament”
If the democratic coalition – led by the former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi – will win the election, Gianni Pittella (who is running for the Senate seat) can have the opportunity to join the future government. In that case, “Bullmann and Slovenian deputy Tanja Fajon are then likely to fight out a formal leadership contest”.
If the right wins the election, Silvio Berlusconi can be the next Prime Minister. In fact, Silvio Berlusconi is currently ineligible in Italy and he is waiting the European Court of Human Rights’ decision (ECHR). If the ECHR will approve the ineligibility of Berlusconi, Italy can be governed by another European leader: Antonio Tajani (president of the European Parliament and Forza Italia member).
Thereby, Italian election will certainly have consequences on European Parliament.
For further information:
Euractiv. The Brief – Pittella recrosses the Rubicon. https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/the-brief-pittella-recrosses-the-rubicon/
NewEurope. Pittella wants to take ‘good progressive fight’ to Italy. https://www.neweurope.eu/article/pittella-wants-take-good-progressive-fight-italy/
Politico EU. Gianni Pittella to run for Italian senate. https://www.politico.eu/article/gianni-pittella-to-leave-european-parliament-and-run-for-italian-senate/
Politico EU. Berlusconi backs Tajani as Italian prime minister. https://www.politico.eu/article/berlusconi-backs-tajani-as-italian-prime-minister/
S&D. Pittella: I have fought for 20 years for a progressive Europe. I will now lead the same fight in Italy. http://www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/newsroom/pittella-i-have-fought-20-years-progressive-europe-i-will-now-lead-same-fight-italy