Italian MEP Alessandra Mussolini held a discussion and wine-tasting event in the European Parliament on Thursday morning in reaction to an Irish Government plan to place health warnings on alcohol sold here.
When the event concluded at 11am, Ms Mussolini - who is the granddaughter of former Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini - staged a press conference where she drank drank from a bottle of red wine in front of assembled journalists.
In January, the European Union approved Irish plans to introduce mandatory labelling requirments for alcohol products sold here, a move which has angered many European wine producing regions, particularly Italy.
That same month, Italy's largest farmers' association, Coldiretti, branded Ireland's move as "alarmist" and a "direct attack" against their country..
The Government's move is now being reviewed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). If implemented, alcohol labels would have to display written warnings outlining information about the direct link between alcohol and fatal cancers, as well as a message about the dangers of consuming alcohol when pregnant.
Ms Mussolini is a prominent member of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, one of the three major parties of Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni's ruling coalition government.
"Mi attacco alla bottiglia" pic.twitter.com/CbjtiDmqKE— Alekos Prete (@AlekosPrete) March 30, 2023
At the wine-tasting event on Thursday morning, attendees were invited to sample a range of Italian wines. The poster for the event displayed the slogan "In vino veritas" which translates to "In wine, there is truth."
Speaking at the event, Ms Mussolini said the Irish Government's plan would "wound an Italian tradition."
“We wanted this event specifically now because the plenary brings all lawmakers back to Brussels and we can maximize attention on the topic," she told a crowd of journalists after she drank from a bottle of Italian wine.
“I am interested in gathering support to form a common front here in the European Parliament, we have to cling on anything possible to defeat the measure."