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Kreiner, Paul

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Die Presse - Austria | 18/04/2008

The troubling gains of Italy's Northern League

Paul Kreiner notes that Umberto Bossi's Lega Nord party is no longer a protest party but a territorial party with deep roots in the north of the country. He points out that above all the many votes from workers who traditionally vote for leftist parties have helped the Lega Nord achieve a major success in the elections. "Rome, 'the predator', has become the hated capital of a state that the Bossis in the north no longer want. Only last November (2007), Bossi had said that 'slaveholders and colonialists' sat in Rome: 'I have 300,000 armed men ready to rebel behind me. They are prepared to give everything, and even to die.' ... That's the myth. It conceals right-wing extremist policies, xenophobia, and racism. 'The boat refugees who are polluting the Mediterranean should be shot at,' Lega politicians demanded. Lega troops are patrolling Veneto at night to 'do something about the foreigners and drug dealers'. And not long ago local 'leghisti' drove a pig on to a section of land where a mosque was to be built."

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