European Populists Like Italy’s Salvini Now Want to Stay in the EU—to Take It Over

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, right, shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their meeting in Milan, Italy, on Aug. 28, 2018 (AP photo by Luca Bruno).
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, right, shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after their meeting in Milan, Italy, on Aug. 28, 2018 (AP photo by Luca Bruno).

ROME—When Italy’s most powerful politician, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, signed up last week to join Steve Bannon’s effort to help populists on the continent win more seats in the European Parliament next year, he unwittingly underscored one of the inherent contradictions in Europe’s far-right populist movement. Much like other resurgent nationalists, Salvini, who is also Italy’s deputy prime minister, has steadily grown in power by fulminating against immigration and against the European Union. But now, by joining forces with Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s ousted chief strategist, anti-EU activists are showing that they may not object to European unity as […]

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