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Italian Interior-Minister and Deputy-Premier Matteo Salvini meets reporters at the Interior Ministry headquarters in Rome, Monday, May 27, 2019. Hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s League party – who is casting himself as the standard bearer for populist far right in Europe – won the Italian vote and jumps from 6 to 28 seats in the European Parliament. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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Interior Minister and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini arrives for a press conference at the League’s headquarters, in Milan, Italy, Monday, May 27, 2019. The League party of Italy’s hard-line interior minister was one of the biggest winners in the European elections, with sky-rocketing support that bolsters his role as the flagbearer of the nationalist and far-right forces in Europe and could also shake up politics at home.(AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
MILAN – Italy's victorious right-wing leader, Matteo Salvini, says the European elections have created "a new geography" of anti-elite sentiment in the EU. But it is far from certain that he will be able to forge a bloc from parties who are united around a strict euroskeptic, anti-migrant, anti-Islam platform, but little else.
Salvini is hoping for 100 to 150 EU deputies to fight back against deeper EU integration in the 751-seat legislature, but the eight members of his Europe of Nations and Freedom group can claim only 58 seats following the EU parliament elections.
Salvini is looking to fiercely euroskeptic leaders in Poland, Hungary and Britain to fill out the ranks. But so far, there is no evidence that leaders from other populist parties will respond to Salvini's call.