The two smaller parties in Italy’s three-way coalition are arguing over ties with Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany, AfD party ahead of the European elections next month.

This followed an announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini that his Lega party would “never’’ vote to re-elect current European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The other deputy Prime Minister, Antonio Tajani ,from the Forza Italia party, responded with a clear rejection of the AfD, a party that Salvini’s Lega maintains close ties with.

Tajani, also a foreign minister, said that his party would never be an ally of the AfD because it is an alternative to all our values.

Lega and Forza Italia are the two smaller partners In the right-wing coalition of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who is leader of the Brothers of Italy party.

Transport Minister Salvini’s Lega maintains close contacts with the AfD.

Forza Italia, on the other hand, founded by the late Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, belongs to the same party grouping in Europe as Von der Leyen’s Christian Democratic Union party.

In polls for the European elections in June, both Forza Italia and Lega are currently below the 10 per cent mark, well behind Meloni Brothers of Italy.

She has repeatedly appeared together with von der Leyen in recent months. (NAN)

Tension in Italian coalition over ties with Germany’s AfD

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