Le Pen hedging on Salvini’s wave for MEP elections

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If there is to be a “Salvini wave,” Marine Le Pen is intent on riding it.

Next week, the leader of France’s far-right National Rally (RN) party will reveal her back-from-summer poster, which party leaders say features Le Pen standing side-by-side with Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.



Wallerand de Saint-Just, a member of the RN’s executive committee, told POLITICO the design reflects Le Pen’s strategy to ally with like-minded movements for the 2019 European election. The official added that there will “certainly” be campaign events to come featuring Salvini, who has made waves on the Continent this summer after public spats with Emmanuel Macron and the European Commission.

“Two years ago, I didn’t know his name. He was one European MEP among others,” said the RN official, adding: “Since he won, he has demonstrated that we can govern, that we can take initiative, and, for the moment, that we can succeed.”

Le Pen’s decision to include a foreign leader in her propaganda runs counter to her party’s French nationalist reputation. Campaign art for Le Pen’s 2017 presidential bid simply proclaimed, “Choose France.”

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