Italian leader says right-wing is Europe’s ‘true’ defender

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.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.