ROME — Matteo Salvini’s far-right League is bringing back its flagship campaign to exit the euro.
The Euroskeptic party’s top economic adviser, Claudio Borghi, who also chairs the budget committee in the lower house of Italy’s parliament, said on television Thursday it would not be “forbidden” to discuss leaving the single currency if the position is supported by “25, 30 percent of voters.”
The League remains Italy’s most popular party, polling at around 34 percent, even though it’s not in government. In August, Salvini pulled out of a coalition with the 5Stars, in hopes of triggering an election. But the populist group instead partnered with the center-left Democratic Party (PD).
Salvini in recent weeks stoked opposition to a revamp of the eurozone bailout fund, which some analysts interpreted as a sign of the party reprising the “Italexit” campaign, which had officially been put to bed during its time in the coalition.
“My ideas [on the euro] are well known [but] I did not discuss them during the whole year in government because we signed a government contract with the 5Stars where leaving the single currency was not mentioned,” Borghi said on the live TV show.
Salvini and Borghi argue that the proposed reform of the bailout fund — the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — would be damaging for Italy by setting more severe terms for any financial aid. The 5Stars backed their position, threatening to block ratification of the treaty amendment.
Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri, from the PD, on Wednesday tried to persuade his colleagues from around the euro area to reopen negotiations on the changes.
Borghi, when asked by POLITICO if he is officially restarting an Italexit campaign, said, “Don’t you [journalists] get tired of playing the same trick all the time? Our position never changed.”
The lawmaker pointed to a written document which states the League’s official position: “We have informed [citizens] of the damage done by the single currency before anyone else and while we want to avoid unilateral actions, if other countries come up with inclusive projects to change the EU’s single currency, we will consider them.”
Borghi also said that any idea supported by a large group of people is worth being discussed. But he added: “Obviously there’s a big difference between saying something should be discussed and reaching a majority over it.”