HomeTop StoriesThe Bavarian leader Söder finds common ground with the Italian Meloni

The Bavarian leader Söder finds common ground with the Italian Meloni

The conservative Prime Minister of the southern German state of Bavaria, Markus Söder, said he had much in common with Italy’s far-right Prime Minister Georgia Meloni after a meeting Friday in Rome.

Söder said they agreed on energy, transportation and asylum policy issues.

For example, Bavaria and Italy both have an interest in a hydrogen corridor from Italy to the south of Germany, Söder said.

He also agreed with Meloni that the European Union should reverse the future phase-out of combustion engine vehicles.

The plan for new gas and hydrogen pipelines through the Alps is also part of an ongoing action plan by the German and Italian governments.

In the field of asylum policy, Söder again praised the refugee agreement between Italy and Albania. Italy plans to operate two migrant centers on Albanian territory, which is not part of the European Union.

Meloni’s government hopes the deal will help stem migration across the Mediterranean to Italy and thus to the EU.

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“This could also be a solution for the whole of Europe,” Söder said about the arrangement on Friday.

Söder said they have not discussed whether Meloni’s controversial far-right party would be accepted as part of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) bloc, which operates at EU level.

“There is absolutely no interest in joining the EPP – the discussion is absolutely irrelevant and is over,” Söder said. “Which I think is good. It wouldn’t be a good fit because of the past of Ms. Meloni’s party.”

Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy, has its roots in the fascist movement of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

On the other hand, Söder said Meloni expressed a “clear rejection” of the far-right, anti-EU party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which ranks second in national surveys.

Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni (R) receives Prime Minister of Bavaria Markus Soeder in Palazzo Chigi.  Oliver Weiken/dpa

Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni (R) receives Prime Minister of Bavaria Markus Soeder in Palazzo Chigi. Oliver Weiken/dpa

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