League leader hopes to secure political comeback via votes in Emilia-Romagna and CalabriaThe far-right Italian politician Matteo Salvini has threatened to “evict” the national government if his coalition triumphs in two regional elections.Italian newspapers reported a “boom” in turnout – up 23% in the wealthy northern region of Emilia-Romagna and 10% in Calabria, in the south – by midday, as voters headed to the polls in elections that could precipitate a return to national power for Salvini’s League. Continue reading...
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The hard-right leader may be poised for a breakthrough in two traditionally hostile regions. If he...The hard-right leader may be poised for a breakthrough in two traditionally hostile regions. If he can win there, his opponents fear, he can win anywhere.
League party leader Matteo Salvini’s influence is ‘insidious’, says Giuseppe ConteThe Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte,...League party leader Matteo Salvini’s influence is ‘insidious’, says Giuseppe ConteThe Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, has appealed for unity within his coalition government after a tumultuous few weeks in which three senators from the Five Star Movement (M5S) absconded to the far-right League party and the education minister quit.Lorenzo Fioramonti resigned last week after the government approved a budget for 2020 that did not contain an increase in spending on education. Fioramonti, who in November declared that Italy would be the first country to teach climate change in schools, has hinted at forming a parliamentary group that would include other disgruntled M5S politicians. Continue reading...
The Guardian view on Italy’s ‘Sardine’ movement: politics with panache can defeat the hard right | Editorial
Spontaneous rallies opposing Matteo Salvini’s divisive rhetoric have captured imaginations. They offer a model that could...Spontaneous rallies opposing Matteo Salvini’s divisive rhetoric have captured imaginations. They offer a model that could be emulated elsewhereFor over a decade, the dominant theme in European politics has been the emergence of movements that seek to dramatise and exploit social divisions through crude and aggressive sloganeering. One of the trendsetters in this regard was the comedian Beppe Grillo, who in 2007 held an anti-establishment rally billed as “Vaffanculo Day” (Fuck-off Day). That mass protest in Bologna launched a populist wave in Italy, eventually leading to the rise of the anti-immigration politician Matteo Salvini, whose hard-right League party – currently out of government – is polling far ahead of its rivals.Progressives have despaired at the apparent inability of centre-left politicians to find the vocabulary and imagination to challenge the divisive and often violent rhetoric of figures such as Salvini and Marine Le Pen. But help may be at hand, in the form of a burgeoning grassroots movement in Italy that takes the symbol of a fish as its inspiration. Appropriately, it began in Bologna. Continue reading...