Italian Centre-Left Leader Fears Russia's Elections Meddling
Opinion polls suggest the conservative bloc, including Forza Italia, the League and the far-right Brothers of Italy, will win the Sept. 25 election.
Moscow could try to skew the forthcoming Italian national election by spreading fake news on social media to favour pro-Russian parties, the head of Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said on Monday.
Mr. Enrico Letta, who is trailing a rightist alliance in the polls, said he wanted Italian intelligence agencies and the European Union’s disinformation unit to monitor the two-month election campaign and prevent outside interference.
I am launching this red alarm for the good of the country, but also for the good of Europe, Mr. Letta told media from his Rome office where he is rushing to prepare for the snap vote that was called last week after the unexpected collapse of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s national unity government.
Two of Mr. Letta’s main opponents, Forza Italia and the League, have traditionally had close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Their respective leaders, Mr. Silvio Berlusconi and Mr. Matteo Salvini, have condemned his invasion of Ukraine, but they have also questioned why the West should send arms to Kyiv.
I know very well that Salvini and Berlusconi are on a completely different track … this is why I am afraid of the Russian approach to this electoral campaign, stated Mr. Letta, who was Italian prime minister from 2013-2014.