Italy Among Those Voting in EU Elections After Violence (Worthy News Radio)

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

ROME/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Voting was underway Saturday in five European Union countries, including Italy, to choose 127 of the 720 seats in the European Parliament during concerns about the EU’s future. Saturday’s vote was day three of four days of European elections, marred by violence, such as an attack against the Danish prime minister. The voting will conclude Sunday when most voters of the 27 member states cast ballots. Observers on Saturday focused especially on Italy and Slovakia, which are still reeling from last month’s assassination attempt on their prime minister.

Voting began in several European Union nations, including Italy, where all eyes are on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has asked her to join a right-wing super group in the European Parliament once the elections are over.

But she was also courted by Ursula von der Leyen, who fears such a group will block her attempt to seek a second term as president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive, which the European legislators choose.

Meloni has been tight-lipped on where the support of her European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) political group will go, but that will change after the results are on Sunday.

Italy was among the largest countries that voted on Saturdays, with 76 seats in the European Parliament.

Yet Slovakia, which has 15 seats, was also closely watched after its ruling party, Smer saw s, support swell after the assassination attempt by a political opponent on Prime Minister Robert Fico in May. Fico survived and plans to return to his job as early as this month despite suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

In the neighboring Czech Republic, Saturday marked the second day of voting for 21 members of the European Parliament.

Latvia also opened the polls for nine members, while Malta, one of the three smallest EU countries, only elected six European legislators.

VIOLENCE AGAINST PREMIER

Yet voting began after the second day of the EU elections on Friday was marred by violence as the Danish Prime Minister
Mette Frederiksen was said to have been left shocked and suffering whiplash after being struck by a man while walking in the center of Copenhagen.

The assault took place in a square in the city’s old town when a man walked up to the politician and hit her. The attacker was swiftly arrested, but there is no word yet on a motive in an attack that Western leaders widely condemned.

Separately, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was accosted by pro-Palestine demonstrators – their hands daubed red – who drowned out her campaign speech at a rally in Portugal.

Cyberattacks also overshadowed voting, with at least three Dutch parties saying their websites were hit by cyberattacks claimed by a pro-Russian hacking group.

Pollsters say Russia’s war in Ukraine is among the significant issues on the minds of voters in what is the 10th European Parliament election.

Analysts predict that far-right parties across the continent are on course for historic gains.

That worries Věra Jourová, the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency. “I think that if not only the far-right but the political powers, including the new members of Parliament, will destroy the unity of the European Union, and unity for me doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything, but the unity on substantial
existentially important things, then the EU will weaken,” she said.

On Sunday, most of the 27 EU member states will cast ballots in the world’s second-largest voting exercise after India’s.

Copyright 1999-2024 Worthy News. This article was originally published on Worthy News and was reproduced with permission.


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