Salvini blames von der Leyen for farmer protests

Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini on Wednesday blamed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for the tractor road-block protests being staged this week by farmers in many parts of Europe, including Italy.

“The (farmers in the) tractors on the roads all over Europe have a problem with the current European Commission,” Salvini told reporters at the European Parliament in Brussels.

“The von der Leyen Commission is disastrous in this regard, in relation to labour and rights.

“In Italy we are working on the areas of responsibility of national governments.

“Most of their issues are with the crazy, pseudo-green European policies that regard farmers, fishers, truck drivers.

“It is clear that this Europe that has put ideology ahead of labour.

“The Italian government is trying to do everything to find extra resources to fix the European disasters.

“In recent years Europe has been a disaster, a disaster for savers, for homeowners, for motorists, for farmers, for truck drivers and for workers”.

When asked about the prospect of von der Leyen serving a second term at the helm of the EU executive, Salvini replied “I personally wouldn’t vote for it”.

Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, meanwhile, on Wednesday met representatives of the ‘tractor movement’ protesting outside the Fieragricola fair in Verona.

“The meeting went very well,” Lollobrigida said.