“Electric cars? The European election is ideological and neo-Soviet.”

“Ideological, neo-Soviet, populist, detached from reality.” Massimiliano Salini could not be more clearly commented on measure approved on Wednesday by the European Parliament, which has banned the sale of new petrol, diesel or methane cars since 2035, and has only allowed the sale of electric cars. MEP from the European People’s Party, elected with Forza Italia, in an interview with Times above all, he points the finger at “the populist left, well represented in Italy by Enrico Letta, who arouses the irrational fear of an impending environmental catastrophe to impose an impractical and dangerous industrial revolution from above”.

Salini, why do you consider the vote in the European Parliament to be a mistake?
Because only allowing the sale of new electric cars from 2035 is contrary to the most obvious and reasonable methods used in the industrial sector to ensure sustainable production.

Let’s just look at what’s happening in China
: it is the country with the most electric cars in the world that do not emit CO2 when they are exhausted. Beijing, however, continues to produce electricity with coal-fired power plants. Even if the country reduced the atmospheric emissions of cars to zero by selling only electric vehicles, it would actually dramatically increase CO2 emissions at the source.

It’s a paradox.
Of course, but it is absurd that the European Parliament does not take this into account, because in this way we risk undoing all the efforts made over the last decade to create sustainable alternative fuels that are compatible with it. internal combustion engine, which we now want to retire …

It will happen in exactly 13 years.
Such a sudden switch to electric will create huge social tensions. The car sector, which is linked to the internal combustion engine, employs, between direct and indirect workers, 12 million people. Hundreds of thousands of them could lose their jobs over the next few years. Forcing such a transformation from above is a neo-Soviet way of acting.

Yes, it distorts European economic culture, which does not evolve to the sound of unattainable goals imposed from above. In Europe, transitions have always come from below. This provision is populist because fear is used to convince citizens of its goodness. Not by the foreigner, as happened with other populisms, but by an imminent environmental catastrophe that, incidentally, points to the man and the company as the main culprits. It is a very serious vision that the EPP and Forza Italia have resolutely opposed.

Who pushed for his approval instead?
The left wing, which on Wednesday in Strasbourg did not get right.

Do you mean the collapse of the ETS system reform and the introduction of CBAM?
Of course, in the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy, we had found a compromise on the free emission quotas that the most energy-intensive industries currently have. Gradually lower quotas until they are eliminated in 2034. In this way, it would have been possible to combine ecological conversion and industrial sustainability.

Then what happened?
The more capricious and ideological left wing from an environmental point of view has allied itself with the right wing by rejecting the agreement. A serious mistake made, as far as Italy is concerned, by the Democratic Party, which allied itself with the Lega and the Fratelli d’Italia. It is a step backwards, because it does not protect our production, which, I would like to remind you, is already among the most sustainable in the world from an environmental point of view. Let us hope that the new debate in committee does not go against even more ideological compromises.

Still, Enrico Letta tweeted yesterday: “Land the Italian right-wing protagonists in the negative in Europe. With their amendments, they have succeeded in overthrowing and burying the plan against Climate change. We are consistent in favor of the environment “.
Perhaps the secretary of the Democratic Party was not aware that his party in Strasbourg agreed with the right-wingers he now accuses and against the rational and reasonable compromise agreement that had been reached in committee thanks to the EPP. This new version of populist Letta, which shakes the doom of the world by blaming companies, is interesting and says a lot about the anthropological development of the left in Italy. I remembered that the Democratic Party and the Left cared about work and workers, I have probably been distracted in recent years.

Are we going to return to electric cars, do we have to report back to disaster, or can something still be done?
The game is not over yet, because now the proposal must be discussed by the Commission, Parliament and the European Council in order to reach a common text. The aim is to form a blocking minority in the Council, which demands that the approved directive be discussed again.

Is this a real possibility?
I just talked about it yesterday with some German colleagues: There are many who agree. Furthermore, when one reads the statements of Minister Roberto Cingolani (“enough with the propaganda about renewable energy and electric cars”), it seems to me that the Draghi government is in line with the EPP. This madness must be stopped, with all due respect to Letta.


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