Italy commands a strange place in the framework of modern multicultural Europe. It seems to have a national populace that has for the most part ignored or laughed off a lot of the multicultural, ethno-suicidal, gender-neutral insanity that has gripped Sweden and Germany, yet at the same time it has had to take in a very large number of Middle-Eastern and African immigrants, because of its geographic presence on the Mediterranean.
Italian politics are notoriously chaotic, similar to their neighbor Greece. There are scores of political parties whose fortunes rise or fall like the waves. With the escalating migrant crisis however it looks as if Lega Nord, the “Northern League” is gaining a stronger share of support.
ROME — When Matteo Salvini took over the leadership of the Northern League at the end of 2013, Italian politicians and the media said his job would be to officiate at the party’s funeral. Two years later, it is back from the near dead — and stronger than ever.
Whether you credit the refugee crisis, the Marine Le Pen bandwagon or what party insiders prefer to call the #effettoSalvini (the Salvini effect), the party that sank to an historic low of 4 percent in the 2013 election — below the threshold for seats in the Senate — now has 16-17 percent support in nationwide polls.
That means if an election took place tomorrow — always a risk in Italy, even though Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is only halfway through his four-year term — the League could team up with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, which gets 11 percent in the same polls, and the small, right-wing Fratelli d’Italia (5 percent) to put together a possible ruling coalition.
Continued later on in the article:
In regional elections last May, the League took 20 percent of the vote in Tuscany, a traditional leftist stronghold. This was a personal affront for the prime minister, who rose to political prominence as mayor of the regional capital city Florence.
“Tuscany is the proof that the days are over when we were labeled as a crazy far-right party,” said 42-year-old Salvini, who joined the League at the age of 17 and quickly styled himself the “dauphin.” Elected to the European Parliament in 2004, he eventually challenged the ailing Bossi for the leadership in 2013, winning 80 percent of party delegates’ votes.
The secret of the League’s new-found success, according to Tarchi, lies in “its competitors’ total neglect of issues that are deeply important to a significant proportion of the electorate, especially the less wealthy ones.”
Its captive vote includes “those who would like to stop the spread of a progressive and cosmopolitan worldview; those who feel uncomfortable with multi-ethnicity and with living with foreigners, as well as homosexual unions,” said Tarchi.
During the meeting, Salvini posted a selfie on Facebook with far-right leaders including Le Pen and the Netherlands’ Geert Wilders with the caption: “We will not surrender to the clandestine invasion.”