The politician considered the leader of Italy's right-of-center movement recently gave his blessing to Donald Trump's reelection — and in his own iconic way.
Matteo Salvini, former Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister until last year, wore a Trump mask into the floor of the Italian Senate.
In the days leading up to the U.S. election, Salvini has underscored his preference in the U.S. election by wearing a Trump mask at public meetings.
Although many other European politicians shun embrace of and comparisons to Trump, Salvini, leader of the hard-line, anti-illegal immigrant League, wears analogies to the American president as if they were an Olympic gold medal.
At one point, he said he would be proud to be called the "Donald Trump of Italy."
Until last year, Salvini was a partner in the center-right coalition government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti and polls showed his Lega (League) Party getting the most seats in a parliamentary election.
But in a surprise move, Conti avoided an election by switching sides in the parliament and forming a coalition with the left-of-center Democratic Party (headed by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi) and his current coalition partner, the populist Five-Star movement.
Salvini and the League were out in the proverbial cold.
"At this point, I believe it would be beneficial for both Trump and Salvini to become close," Mario Gualco, president of Italy's National Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises, told Newsmax. "The two have similar political policies concerning illegal immigration and the prioritization of the interests of their own citizens as compared to economic choices that instead favor a global, unbalanced market that tilts toward China."
Gualco, whose organization represents 621,000 associates employing over 1.2 million people, also pointed out "for Salvini, the hope of receiving help from the weight of the U.S. would provide an advantage in the international arena and even toward the EU. For this same reason, it would be a good choice for Trump to have an ally who is willing to confront the EU."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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