Lega Nord

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Lega Nord
Party leader Matteo Salvini
Parliamentary leader
Founded December 4, 1989
Headquarters
Political ideology Conservatism
Political position Right-wing populist
International affiliation Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom[1]
Color(s) green
Website leganord.org

Lega Nord is a conservative and right-wing populist party in Italy. It is led by Matteo Salvini.

History

While once a regionalist and left-of-center party, Lega Nord has since shifted strongly toward the right and tried to appeal to Italian voters throughout the country. Much of this shift occurred shortly before and after Matteo Salvini, who led the effort to expand it from just a regional party,[2][3] became its leader in 2013. While Lega Nord was in serious trouble when Salvini became party leader, he significantly grew the party to become the country's dominant political force by 2018 through focusing on a nationalist and populist agenda similar to that of U.S. President Donald Trump.[4]

2018 elections

The party was renamed "The League" for the 2018 general election, and it made massive gains, quadrupling its vote share. While it strongly opposes immigration, it elected the first black senator in Italian history, contrary to left-wing caricatures of it.[5][6] Lega performed so well that it became the dominant party in its coalition, overtaking Silvio Berlusconi's establishment Forza Italia,[7] and Salvini had a very real chance of becoming Italy's prime minister.[8]

In April 2018, during government coalition negotiations, the Northern League performed very well in an election in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia,[9] and it performed very well in local elections in June, after the creation of a coalition government.[10] An Italian poll in June 2018 found that Lega Nord had become the most popular party in Italy for the first time.[11] In the local elections held later that year, the League and its right-of-center alliance performed very well, even taking control of several cities under left-wing control for decades.[12] By early 2019, the League had doubled in popularity.[13]

Populist coalition

The populist cabinet of the League–M5S coalition
See also: Giuseppe Conte

In May 2018, the League and the fellow anti-establishment Five Star Movement agreed to a common platform, one that promoted strongly nationalist and anti-establishment policies.[14] Both parties allowed their voters to choose whether they approved of the coalition agenda.[15] Despite this, Italy's establishment president rejected the coalition government as it supported nominating a Euroskeptic finance minister.[16] However, a few days later, the two parties were able to reach a compromise with Italy's president and finalized their governing coalition.[17] The new government, Western Europe's first one completely run by populist and anti-establishment parties, was sworn in on June 1, 2018.[18] The League received several important government positions, including Salvini as Interior Minister and in charge of Italy's immigration policy, and Lorenzo Fontana, a strong pro-life and social conservative advocate, as the minister in charge of family policy, among others.[19]

With Salvini in charge of Italy's immigration policies, the League showed it was serious about securing Italy's borders.[20] For example, early in the coalition government, Salvini refused to let a boat carrying over 600 migrants land in Italy as the country shared an undue immigration burden,[21] and he said he would continue such actions.[22] By the end of 2018, migrant ships stopped their activities because of Italian pressure.[23] The coalition announced it would crack down on illegal street vendors, many of whom are migrants.[24] In July 2018, Salvini blocked a private Italian ship carrying migrants from docking.[25] He also ordered that benefits for asylum seekers be massively reduced.[26] In September 2018, Salvini signed a decree which, among other actions, would ban residency permits for humanitarian reasons, increase funding for deportation centers, and removed citizenship from terrorists.[27] In November 2018, the coalition government announced it would not sign the UN Global Compact on Migration.[28] Migrant deportations increased 28% in the government's first six months in power,[29] and in 2018, the level of illegal immigration to Italy fell 80% while it doubled for Spain.[30] Migration levels continued to dramatically fall,[31] something confirmed by Frontex data.[32] The League pushed to make is more difficult for non-EU migrants to join a proposed basic income program supported by the M5S.[33]

In August 2018, Salvini announced change Italian identification forms to list one's "mother" and "father", rather than "parent one" and "parent two."[34] In December 2018, the Italian Education Ministry, controlled by an ally of the League, gave approval to setting up crucifixes and nativity scenes in classrooms.[35] Salvini promoted gun rights as interior minister,[36] and the League did the same.[37] They took a confrontational stance toward the European Union.[38]

The League continued growing in popularity and became the most popular party in the country by 2018.[39]

Policies

Lega Nord takes Euroskeptic positions[40] and supports leaving the Euro.[41] It also takes nationalist positions, supporting putting the Italian people first when making policy, as opposed to advancing globalist ideals.[42]

Lega Nord also takes a strong position against mass migration and Islam,[43][44] and it supports strong border security actions.[41] The League also supports enacting tariffs on foreign products.[45]

Under Salvini, Lega Nord has aligned itself with other like-minded parties and politicians in Europe, including the French National Front led by Marine Le Pen and Party for Freedom led by Geert Wilders.[7][46] It is highly critical of George Soros.[47] Antifa and anarchist groups have targeted Lega Nord because of its beliefs.[48]

Lega Nord supports preserving Italy's traditional Christian culture. Notably, in 2018, the League-controlled government of Lombardy blocked a Muslim association from buying and converting a Christian chapel.[49] The League is pro-life and led the successful effort to declare Verona a "city in favour of life."[50]

See also

References

  1. https://www.menleuropa.eu/
  2. Kirchgaessner, Stephanie; Tondo, Lorenzo (February 28, 2018). Matteo Salvini extends Northern League's appeal as far south as Sicily. The Guardian. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  3. Balmer, Crispian (February 9, 2018). Italy's League leaves northern bastions, bangs anti-migrant drum. Reuters. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  4. Lyman, Eric J. (June 4, 2018). Matteo Salvini expands clout of Italy's League by stealing page from Trump's immigration playbook. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  5. Tomlinson, Chris (March 7, 2018). Right-Wing Italian Populist Is First Black Senator in Country’s History. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  6. Osborne, Samuel (March 7, 2018). Italy elects first black senator in history, for anti-immigration Lega party. The Independent. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Multiple references:
  8. Birnbaum, Michael; Pitrelli, Stefano (March 6, 2018). Matteo Salvini could be Western Europe's first far-right leader since 1945. The Washington Post. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  9. Multiple references:
  10. Multiple references:
  11. Tomlinson, Chris (June 20, 2018). New Poll Shows Populist La Lega Most Popular Party In Italy For the First Time. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
    See also:
  12. Multiple references: See also:
  13. Williams, Thomas D. (March 19, 2019). Italy: Matteo Salvini’s League Party Doubles Popularity. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  14. Multiple references:
  15. Segreti, Giulia (May 20, 2018). Italians back League, 5-Star plan as groups ready government team. Reuters. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
    See also:
  16. Multiple references:
  17. Multiple references: See also:
  18. Multiple references:
  19. Multiple references: Specifically for Salvini: Specifically for Lorenzo Fontana:
  20. Legorano, Giovanni (June 29, 2018). Italy’s Salvini Puts Roadblocks in Migrants’ Way While Reaching Out to Fellow European Populists. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  21. Multiple references: See also:
  22. Multiple references: See also:
  23. Legorano, Giovanni (December 7, 2018). Cowed Aid Agencies Cease Migrant Rescues in the Mediterranean. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  24. Tomlinson, Chris (June 27, 2018). Italy to Crack Down on Migrant Street Vendors with Massive Fines for Sellers and Buyers. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  25. https://www.thelocal.it/20180710/italy-turns-away-private-italian-ship-vos-thalassa-rescued-migrants-libya For the first time, Italy prevents a private Italian ship from docking with rescued migrants]. The Local. July 10, 2018. Retrieved July 11, 2018.
  26. Tomlinson, Chris (July 27, 2018). Italy Slashes Asylum Seeker Benefit Payments. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
  27. Multiple references:
  28. Tomlinson, Chris (November 29, 2018). Populist Italian Government Latest to Back Out of UN Migration Pact. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  29. Hale, Virginia (December 18, 2018). Italy’s Migrant Crackdown: Expulsions up, Squatter Camps Cleared. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  30. Spain replaces Italy as Europe's main destination for migrant crossings. Reuters. January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
    See also:
  31. Shaw, Adam (January 30, 2019). Italy sees migrant numbers plummet after nationalist policies take hold. Fox News. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  32. Tomlinson, Chris (February 21, 2019). EU Border Agency Confirms Salvini’s Populist Migrant Policies Working. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  33. Italy makes it harder for non-EU immigrants to claim 'citizens' income'. The Local. February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  34. Multiple references:
  35. Multiple references:
  36. Johanningsmeier, Emma (November 7, 2018). Italy Loosens Gun Laws as Matteo Salvini Polishes His Tough Guy Image. The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  37. Hawkins, Awr (March 17, 2019). Italy Eyes Stand Your Ground-Style Law for Lethal Firearm Use. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  38. Amaro, Silvia (March 22, 2019). Italy is side-lining itself from the EU. And its populist deputy leader stands to benefit. CNBC. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  39. Williams, Thomas D. (October 6, 2018). Italy’s Populist League Party Hits Historic High in Popularity. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  40. Deacon, Liam (January 20, 2018). Italian Election Favourite Blasts Brussels: ‘The EU Can Go F*ck Itself’. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Montgomery, Jack (January 6, 2018). Italy’s Lega Nord Commits to Leaving the Euro, Tripling Deportations, and Securing the Border. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  42. Binnie, Isla (February 24, 2018). League leader pledges to put Italians first as election campaign intensifies. Reuters. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  43. Williams, Thomas D. (January 31, 2018). Italy’s Salvini Promises Sealed Borders, ‘Today’s Islam Is a Danger’. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  44. Tomlinson, Chris (February 28, 2018). Italian Populist Leader Slams Pro-Migrant Bishop: ‘The Gospel Doesn’t Say to Welcome Everyone’. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  45. Koukakis, Nasos (March 2, 2018). Not all Europeans hate Trump's tariff policy — Italy's far-right PM candidate loves it. CNBC. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  46. Mcintosh, Jane (March 6, 2018). Who are Italy's two leading populist parties: Five Star Movement and the League? Deutsche Welle. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  47. Friedman, Victoria (June 4, 2018). Italian Populist: We’re Going in the ‘Right Direction’ If Soros Is Worried. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  48. Multiple references:
  49. Italy's League blocks Muslims from buying and converting chapel. Reuters. October 28, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  50. Verona, city of Romeo and Juliet, declares itself pro-life. LifeSiteNews (from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children). October 8, 2018. Retrieved January 3, 2019.

External links