Lega Nord Party: the faces of the extreme right politics in Italy

Photos and text by Giacomo Cosua

Umberto Bossi Leader of the Northen League Party

BBC Reports: “Prosecutors in Italy are investigating the right-wing Northern League party – formerly allied to ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi – for suspected fraud”.

We wanted to show you the faces of the italian politics from this Party, that was accused to be xenofobic and racist many times also inside the European Parliament.

This is a selection of them, so just in case you find them by chance on the street, you have the choice to go straight or take another way.

Rosi Mauro, member of the Italian Parliament and Vice President of the Senate

Roberto Calderoli (born 18 April 1956) is an Italian politician and a member of the Senate of Italy. He was a Minister without portfolio for Legislative Simplification in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet. He previously served as Minister without portfolio for Reforms and Devolution in the Berlusconi II Cabinet (since 20 June 2004) and in the Berlusconi III Cabinet (until 18 February 2006, when he resigned following the so-called “cartoon crisis”). Roberto Calderoli is a leading member of the Northern League. He is usually seen as representing the component originating from the right wing and Bergamo, whereas Roberto Maroni represents the area originating from the left wing and Varese.

Role in the “Cartoon Crisis”
During the international crisis sparked by the publishing of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons, on February 8, 2006, he made statements favourable to usage of force against Muslims and asked for the intervention of Pope Benedict XVI to form a “coalition”, referencing the battles of Lepanto and Vienna.

On 15 February 2006, he announced he would wear a T-shirt with the Muhammad cartoons. Later that evening, just after the news broadcast on state flagship television station Rai Uno, during a live interview he said: “I am wearing one of those T-shirts even now”, and promptly unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a T-shirt with a caricature emblazoned on it. Though the press reported it to be one of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, it was actually the cartoon published on the France Soir’s front page in the February 1st 2006 issue, the very day the same newspaper published the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. Actually, Calderoli did not show one of the cartoons that caused the international crisis.
The event was widely published in Libya (a former colony of Italy), and about 1,000 people gathered for a protest and began throwing rocks and bottles toward the Italian consulate in Benghazi which they set ablaze. In clashes with the police, at least eleven people died and twenty-five were wounded.
Subsequently, Berlusconi asked Calderoli to resign because his act was against the government’s political line, but, in an interview given to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Calderoli declared that he would not resign. He eventually gave in to the massive pressure coming from all parties (and lack of support in his own), and resigned on 18 February 2006.

Roberto Calderoli and racism
Following Italy’s win against France in the 2006 World Cup Final, Calderoli criticized France for having “sacrificed its identity for results by fielding niggers, Muslims and Communists”.
These comments drew many protests from the French embassy, the Italian Green Party (who said that Calderoli is “no better than the Ku Klux Klan”) and the Party of Italian Communists among others. Calderoli’s politics seems based on the nothing, likely with the exception of techniques pretty common among liars, infused with hate speech and violence.
Moreover, Calderoli said the centre-left government “would very probably have supported this France with no identity and the headbutts of Zidane”.
In June 2008 Calderoli said in a TV interview: “It is obvious that there are ethnic groups and populations that are more inclined to work and others not. And there is greater predisposition for crime by someone over others.”

Comments on the Swiss vote to ban minarets
In November 2009, after a national referendum resulted in the changing the Swiss constitution so that it prohibited the construction of minarets, Calderoli told the Italian news agency ANSA that Switzerland had a sent a clear signal: “Yes to church towers, no to minarets”. He further stated that he wished Switzerland would act as a model for Italy in this regard.

Mario Borghezio – Wikipedia:
Mario Borghezio (born on 3 December 1947 in Turin[citation needed]) is an Italian politician from the Northern League. (currently suspended) He is a Member of the European Parliament, and sits with the eurosceptic Europe of Freedom and Democracy group.

In 1993, he was sentenced to pay a fine of 750,000 lire for violence on a minor. He forcefully held and turned over to the police a 12-year-old Moroccan unregistered street seller. Italian law does not allow so-called “Citizen’s arrests”, or otherwise taking the law into one’s own hands.

In July 2005, Borghezio was found guilty of arson, for setting fire to the pallets of some migrants sleeping under a bridge in Turin during a vigilante raid. For this he was sentenced to two months and twenty days in prison, converted into a fine of €3,040.

On 17 December, 2005, Borghezio was injured by some No Tav activists, who recognised him on a train from Turin to Venice. Because of the encounter, he had to undergo an operation for a fractured nasal septum. That morning, he had participated in a counter-protest against the No Tav movement in the Susa Valley.

On 11 September, 2007, he was arrested by Belgian police for participating in a protest against the Islamisation of Europe.

In May 2011, Borghezio made inflammatory remarks after the arrest of Ratko Mladic, the Serbian military leader indicted for war crimes at the Hague, including the genocide of 8000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. Borghezio was quoted as saying that “Mladic is a Patriot” and “The Serbs could have halted the advance of Islam into Europe, but they weren’t allowed to do so.”

On June 9, 2011, Borghezio was arrested by Swiss policemen after attempting to join the 2011 annual Bilderberg conference at St. Moritz (Switzerland). He was banished from the Canton of Graubünden for the duration of the meeting. The Italian embassy in Berne lodged a diplomatic protest.

On 30 July 2011 he was suspended for three months by his party for praising several of the ideas in the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the man who is charged with perpetrating the 2011 Norway attacks.

Roberto Maroni (born March 15, 1955) is an Italian politician from Varese. He is a member of the Northern League (Italian: Lega Nord) political movement. Since 1992 he is a Member of the Chamber of Duputies of the Italian Republic, always elected in Lombardy’s districts and costituencies. He was Interior Minister of the Italian Republic from 1994 to 1995 and from 2008 to 2011.
Maroni was convicted of resistance against a public official during a police raid of his party’s building in via Bellerio in Milan in 1996, and sentenced to 8 months (later changed into a fine), when police inspected his office.

An Article (In Italian, about the agression organized by Northen League Members against a waiter who was not italian)

Gentilini has worked as director at the legal bureau of the Cassamarca until his retirement. He has been mayor of Treviso for two consecutive administrations, from 1994 to 1998 and 1998 to 2003, with the party of the Lega Nord Liga Veneta. In 2003, Paolo Gobbo was elected mayor; Gentilini became deputy mayor, as current legislation prevents mayors from serving more than two consecutive terms. Gentilini’s support was decisive in the victory of Gobbo.

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