Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group collapsed Thursday 16th Oct following the departure of Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule.
Why was it dissolved?
For a Group to be formally recognised in the European Parliament it needs at least 25 members and representation of at least 7 of the Member States.
Hanging by an MEP, was it?
Who’s Iveta Grigule?
Born in 1964 she was elected to represent Latvian Farmers’ Union after being expelled from the Greens some years earlier
Why did she resign?
Made an offer she couldn’t refuse?
EPP chairman Manfred Weber and European Parliament Martin Schulz told her she must resign from the EFDD Group in order to attain the presidency of a Parliamentary delegation to Kazakhstan.
Ms Grigule told the secretary general of the EFDD Group that “I had to do it to get elected.”
Who proposed her for the Kazakstan group?
An Italian member of the delegation.
What’s the Italian connection?
The EDFF with UKIP constituting 53% of members, includes 17 members of the Five Star Movement, Italy’s protest group
Who are they?
They are headed by Beppe Grillo, who now wants a referendum about Italy exiting the Euro. They hold approximately one-third of seats in the Italian National Parliament and were convinced that joining up with UKIP was a strategy to get EU funding, membership of EU commissions, speaking time in the EU parliament and an expert secretariat, PRs and press officers. All gone now!
What’s their reaction about their EDFF being dissolved?
They are thinking things over. They are holding an emergency meeting. They’ll take all the time they need and their members will decide online
What do other MEPs think?
SNP MEP Alyn Smith said:
“ UKIP are simply incapable of working constructively with our European neighbours.
UKIP is incapable of working in the interests of the people they are supposed to represent.”
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for south east England, said:
“unsurprising that a group who have scapegoated immigration as the reason for Europe’s economic problems has collapsed so early.
“When UKIP’s group was announced it was entitled to significant taxpayer funding. Now the group’s collapsed the money should be repaid.”
What will MEPs from UKIP and the 5 Star Movement do next?
Will the Italians court the Greens whose offer they spurned a few short months ago?
Will UKIP court the French Front National and the Italian Northern League which they scorned only some months ago?
Will they both try to seduce some MEP from another country and re-form their group?
UKIP’s new best friend is Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz, member of the Polish Congress of the New Right (KNP), led by Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who has a reputation for anti-EU rhetoric and controversial views about women.
Mr Iwaszkiewicz’s one claim to fame is that he told a Polish newspaper that men hitting their wives can “help them come back down to earth“.
Nice one, Nigel! Hoping to attract female voters, are you?
Are your Italian members still thinking things over and deciding online?
Do they want to be associated with wife-beaters?