The Italian Transport Minister Matteo Salvini (Lega Nord) is vehemently opposed to the decision of the European Parliament to ban the sales of new cars with an internal combustion engine in 2035. Salvini calls it a ‘folly’ and a ‘bad intended choice’ to which Rome will oppose itself.
The member states already agreed with the proposition in June 2022 (Italy included), and now the EU Parliament has confirmed it and has also indicated the same direction for trucks by 2040. The new Italian government of Giorgia Meloni started in October last year. Now the European Council still has to give the green light, but that’s normally a formality.
“This vote is foolish, nonsensical, and an ideological choice with bad intentions,” was the reaction of Matteo Salvini on the Rete 4Italian TV chain. “As Lega Nord, and I hope the entire government will follow us, we will oppose the decision and will at least try to postpone it,” he declared. “I don’t understand how Italian MEPs have voted for a proposal that will destroy Italian employment and leave a free road for China,” he added.
The Italian MEPs representing the new (rightist) government coalition of Giorgia Meloni have voted against the proposal, and the MEPs of the center and leftist parties in Italy have voted in favor.
Italy is lagging behind
“The scheme that Europe is imposing now is not coinciding with the European reality and certainly not the Italian,” said the Italian Minister for Enterprises, Adolfo Urso. “It represents a real danger for Italian employment in the car sector.”
“We are really extremely lagging behind,” he said on RAI’s Radio 1. “In Italy, there are some 36 000 charging stations for the whole country, while in ‘little Holland’, there are already more than 90 000,” he added. “We must oppose this ideological and sectarist vision of the European institutions.”
The vehement reaction of her two ministers was supported by Giorgia Meloni, who declared that “the energy transition has to be progressive and can’t put in danger the future of Italian and other European industries”. “Nowhere in the entire world do we encounter regulations that are as strict as these,” she added.
“There is a convergence in Italy on this subject, and I will defend it with vigor on the European forum,” Meloni promised in an interview with the Italian economic newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore at the beginning of the month.