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Italy’s Lega vows to revise EU ties, bolster relations with Russia if victorious

January 10, 19:08 UTC+3 ROME

The leader of Italy’s Lega party, Matteo Salvini feels confident that his party will perform successfully in the March 4 parliamentary election

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© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

ROME, January 10. /TASS/. The leader of Italy’s Lega party [formerly Lega Nord], Matteo Salvini feels confident that his party will perform successfully in the March 4 parliamentary election where Lega will enter into a coalition with Forza Italia led by Silvio Berlusconi and Brothers of Italy head Giorgia Meloni.

He said in an interview with TASS on Wednesday that, according to his forecast, Lega would get seats in the cabinet and would fill the prime minister’s position.

"Berlusconi, Meloni and I made arrangements in the run-up to the March 4 election on an electoral alliance and a coalition cabinet," said Salvini who is presently an MEP. "I am confident Lega will be the first right-wing party [in terms of the votes received within the coalition] and will nominate the Prime Minister."

"I have an interest in having a common program with our allies, while the ministerial positions will be distributed [among the coalition parties] later," he said. "The main objective now is to win the election and we’ve gotten down to working on it."

He recalled he had made public his readiness to stand at the helm of a right-of-center cabinet a long time ago.

"We reached an agreement saying the party [in the coalition] that gets the biggest number of votes will select the Prime Minister and I think Lega will do it," Salvini assured. "There’s no way of denying this fact.

Salvini underlined Lega’s opposition to what he called "the highly damaging anti-Russian sanctions" and said he party insisted on building up relations with Russia and on establishing fruitful ties with Libya "to rebuild that country."

"How can one not understand that Russia is a crucial ally in fighting international terrorism?" he asked.

Salvini dismissed the claims that Moscow was meddling in political processes in other countries as fake news and absurdity.

Simultaneously, he refuted any allegations that Russia was trying to interfere in the political processes in other countries.

"We signed a program agreement with the United Russia party," Salvini said. "This is normal practice, as we have the same kind of cooperation with our European allies in Austria and France. And who will believe Russia might affect the Italians’ choice?"

He also stressed his party’s plans to participate actively in the political campaign all the way to the very end, until March 3, from the north to the south of the country.

"We have a very clear program," Salvini said. "We’d like to re-establish control along [the perimeter of external] borders and to stop the inflow of immigrants by sea. The list of our priorities includes defending people’s rights to jobs and workers’ interests, introducing a 15% flat tax on the incomes of individuals and corporations, and imposing effective measures to defend Italian manufacturers against unfair competition."

To boost the birthrate amid the current demographic crisis, Lega has put forward a plan of assistance to families worth nearly a billion euros for getting free places for all Italian children in daycare centers, Salvini pledged.

He indicated that taxation, migration policies and the national pension system reform are among other priorities.

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