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21 May, 2019 14:15

‘You’re getting worried’: Verhofstadt mocked for challenging Salvini to debate

‘You’re getting worried’: Verhofstadt mocked for challenging Salvini to debate

Guy Verhofstadt’s bombastic Twitter video, challenging Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini to a debate, has drawn more than a few chuckles from commenters who don’t believe the Belgian MEP can deliver on his words.

Verhofstadt, who is currently campaigning for the European Union’s top job on behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group, released the awkward video in which he accuses Salvini of “being paid by Putin to destroy Europe.”

“Just like you, your extreme right-wing friends, Le Pen, Strache, Farage and Orban are constantly plotting and paid by Putin to destroy Europe,” the 66-year-old said.

“Hereby I challenge you to a one-on-one debate, as people have the full right to know what devil’s plan you have in mind,” he added.

The overwhelming majority of the respondents don’t fancy Verhofstadt’s chances should the mooted debate ever occur.

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“It is not too wise to initiate a debate you are clearly going to lose,” one person responded. Another asked: “Why would he waste the very last days of campaigning to debate someone nobody in Italy knows?”

Many others joked that the MEP had hit the bottle before throwing the gauntlet down.

Verhofstadt’s challenge came after Salvini joined a group of representatives of nationalist parties from a range of EU countries at a rally in Milan on Saturday, ahead of the EU parliamentary elections this weekend.

Euroskeptic parties are polling well ahead of the vote and look set to gain seats at the expense of the Parliament’s main groups, including Verhofsdtad’s ALDE.

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