Italian leader says right-wing is Europe's "true" defender

Italian leader says right-wing is Europe's true defender
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini blows a kiss to a supporter as he arrives at the Brothers of Italy political meeting in Rome, Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

ROME (AP) — Italy’s anti-migrant interior minister says the far-right political spectrum includes “the true defenders of European values.”

Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who leads the right-wing League party, said Saturday that during European Parliament elections in May “we have the occasion to send a force into government in Europe that’s not socialist.”

Salvini, who is also a deputy premier in Italy’s new populist, euro-skeptic government, was speaking at a political forum in Rome that was organized by a small far-right Italian opposition party.

Later slated to speak at the forum was Steve Bannon, a former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump. Bannon has been encouraging the formation of a united, transnational front to push politics in the European Union far to the right.