Thousands of supporters of the right-wing Northern League party flooded the streets of Rome on Saturday, slamming the government of Matteo Renzi. A rival rally took place at the same time, with organizers calling the League’s views “racist.”
Speaking at the Northern League’s rally, party leader Matteo
Salvini accused the government of blindly fulfilling orders given
in Brussels. The protest was held at Piazza del Popolo.
“The problem isn’t Renzi; Renzi is a pawn, Renzi is a dumb
slave at the disposal of some nameless person who wants to
control all our lives from Brussels,” Salvini said.
The rally was held under the slogan ‘Renzi a casa’ (“Renzi go
home”). According to Salvini, it is ordinary people who suffer
from the current government’s policies and the ones of the
European Union. The politician especially stressed the situation
surrounding Italian truck drivers who have lost their jobs.
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi)
28 февраля 2015
“Europe is what’s allowing our truck drivers to be squeezed
out by Romanian contracts, Romanian wages and pensions that can
be used to come and work in Italy because that’s what Europe
wants – a race to the bottom,” Salvini said.
The politician also blamed banks and the Italian business
establishment for the current crisis and economic problems.
“I want to change Italy so the economy is able to get back on
track,” Salvini said, as quoted by Euronews. “This is
currently being prevented by Brussels and crazy European
The Northern League’s tough anti-immigration position suggests
deportation of illegal immigrants. The leader of the party says
that limited and controlled immigration is positive, but
immigration through the rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean
is a disaster.
— Leonardo Bianchi (@captblicero) 28
Numerous left wing activists call those views “racist.”
Opponents of the Northern League from several organizations and
Roman social centers held a simultaneous rally, protesting
against the League’s ideas.
Over 35,000 in Euronews estimates joined the march with banners
reading “Never with Salvini!” and “Rome doesn’t want
No incidents were registered at the rallies, according to the
Corriere della Sera.
— Manolo Luppichini (@manolo_loop) 28
The Northern League, or ‘Lega del Nord’ in Italian, is a
regionalist political party which aims to leave the eurozone,
change the policy of austerity, and control immigration. Over the
last five years, the party has gained popularity and become one
of the largest parties in the north of the country. However, the
ruling center-left Democratic Party is still supported by the
majority of the population. New regional elections are to be held