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Italy

Factsheet

ETHNIC MINORITIES:  

Roma:

0.23%

RELIGIONS:  

Roman Catholic:

Muslim:

90%

2.6%

NET MIGRATION:    1,998,926
POP. GROWTH RATE: +0.3%
GDP GROWTH: -1.6%
GDP PER CAPITA: 33,072
UNEMPLOYMENT: 12.2%

 

Northern League for the Independence of Padania (Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania, Lega Nord)

 

 

The Northern League for the Independence of Padania (Lega Nord per l’Indipendenza della Padania, or in short: “Lega Nord”) was a crucial coalition partner for the People of Freedom Party (Il Popolo della Liberta) in Silvio Berlusconi's last government between 2008 and 2011. The party galvanized political support in the early 1990s through its vocal denunciation of corruption scandals in Rome. While Lega Nord’s most fundamental aim is the independence — or at least increased autonomy — of northern Italy, its initially single-issue regionalist agenda has expanded to include a broader array of political objectives. While it initially favored same-sex marriage and legalized marijuana, over the past decade it has moved right on social issues and now opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research and euthanasia. It combines social conservatism with moderate economic libertarianism, opposing government intervention in the free market and advocating generally for low taxes, especially for private citizens and small businesses. In the area of immigration, Lega Nord is widely criticized in Italy for being racist and xenophobic, but it insists that these perceptions rest on a misunderstanding of its tough-on-crime policies. The party has also incurred the ire of human rights organizations when its leader, Umberto Bossi suggested that the Italian navy fire on all boats with illegal immigrants heading for the Italian coast. Despite its reputation, Lega Nord has persistently rejected being defined as anti-minority, vehemently attacking an article in 1992 putting it in the same league as Marine le Pen’s Front National and the Austrian Freedom Party. The party is eager to remind Italians that the first black mayor in Italy is a member of Lega Nord, and that one of its coordinators is a Muslim-raised Tunisian immigrant.

The LN takes an ambivalent position on the European Union. On the one hand, it rejects the “European super-state”, promotes an opening to Russia and a “Europe of the Regions”, and on the other it supports the direct election of the President of the European Commission, the expansion of EP competences and the consolidation of a political, economic, bank and fiscal union. In the 2013 national elections, the party came in 6th place with 4.1% of the votes. With that support, the party did not repeat its 10.2% EP election result achieved in 2009, however achieved a fairly high score of 6.15% in 2014, thanks to its campaign centered on issues similar to that of the Front National, namely immigration and economic related issues. Its unmistakably Eurosceptic rivals, far-right Forza Nuova and leftist/populist Movimento 5 Stelle have made strong gains and left the party far behind in the EP race. Despite this, the Lega Nord was able to join the new “Europe of Nations and Freedoms” alliance in the EP, led by Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders.

In the last few years, LN assumed more Eurosceptic positions, inserting in its program an option for leaving the Eurozone and going back to a pre-Maastricht situation. During the last Italian elections LN earned 17.37 % of the votes, skyrocketing results compared to previous electoral results in 2013 (4.08%).

(Last update on April 27, 2018)

 

Lega Nord on the Internet:

 

 

 

Sources:

- Jamie Bartlett et al.: “The New Face of Digital Populism.” Demos: London 2011, p. 106-107. Available online at http://www.demos.co.uk/files/Demos_OSIPOP_Book-web_03.pdf?1320601634

- Political Capital

 

 

Tricolour Flame (Movimento Sociale Fiamma Tricolore, MS-FT)

 

 

The party was founded in 1995 by departing members of a radical, fascist organization, the Fascist Italian Social Movement, led by Pino Rauti, who refused to join the conservative National Alliance Party. The MS-FT openly defines itself as a Fascist party. Until 2013, the party was led by Luca Romagnoli, after which point Attilio Carelli took over as secretary general.

MS-FT is a Eurosceptic and xenophobe movement. Its thinking is characterized by a radical criticism of social, economic, cultural and political systems and their elites, and is guided by the ideology of the Fascist corporative state and nostalgia for its founder, Benito Mussolini. The party combines a traditional, right-wing paternalistic philosophy with the Fascist state's ethnicity-based nation cult, laced with ostensibly socialistic, right-wing populist, anti-capitalist and social demagogy proclaiming the equality of all the peoples constituting the nation. On Italy’s far-right political spectrum the party stands closest to RSI (Italian Social Republic), although it is closely tied to the Italian Skinhead movement as well. MS-FT's two prominent members are: Pietro Puschiavo, founding member of the Veneto Skinhead Front established in 1985, and Maurizio Boccacci, the former leader of the Rome-based, far-right and skinhead-inspired Western Political Movement. In the 2004 EP elections, the party with a strong following particularly in the South, gained enough votes to send its chairman to the European Parliament. However, in 2009, even as the organization's popularity grew from 0.7 to 0.8%, Romagnoli lost his seat in the EP. At the most recent 2013 general elections the party received 0.13% of the votes. The party rejects the European Union and calls for Italy's withdrawal from the euro zone. Instead of a Union dominated by technocrats and creditors, it advocates the establishment of a “Europe of Nations” and rejects serving US interests. In February 2014 it was in third position (with 22.4%), behind the leftist Eurosceptic party, the Movimento 5 Stelle (with 24.9%). 

At the 2018 Italian political elections, the party ran in a coalition with Forza Nuova (New Force) composing the list Italy to the Italians, which obtained around 0.38% of the votes.

(Last update on April 27, 2018)

 

MS-FT on the Internet:

 

 

Source:

- Political Capital

 

Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia)

 

 

A relatively young party, Fratelli d’Italia was founded between 2012-13. Its President, Giorgia Meloni, is a strong Eurosceptic and supporter of far-right ideologies. In 2014, FdI split with the European Popular Party Group in the European Parliament because its positions were neither sufficiently rightist nor Eurosceptic.

FdI’spolitical positions are right-leaning in social matters and nationally conservative. The party aims to implement policies based mainly on protectionist and conservative principles. Leaving the Euro-zone, halting the implementation of ius soli, sustaining the laws criminalizing illegal immigration, and the increase of wages and equipment of the Italian Police forces, all rank amongst the party’s highest priorities.

The party further expresses its Euroscepticism through its goals of reshaping EU treaties, and the insertion of a supremacy clause in the Italian constitution that would allow the country to block all agreements and directives it deems noxious for the state.  FdI maintains its relations with the old nucleus of the Italian Social Movement (MSI) and is generally more linked to fascism than to the modern far right. On the international level,FdI is politically similar to the Law and Justice party PiS in Poland and to the Front National in France. In the last elections the party gained 4.35% of the votes.

(Last update on April 27, 2018)

 

Fratelli d’Italia on the Internet:

 

 

Source:

- Giulia Stefano, intern at Political Capital

 

Casa Pound (Casa Pound)

 

CasaPound started as a social movement at the end of the 90s early 2000s in Rome; it was able to gain national coverage in 2013. By illegally occupying inhabited buildings in the centre of Rome, it calls for the public’s attention and promotes housing for all Italians. This method of leftist activism was overtaken by CasaPound and implemented for the promotion of rightist ideologies. CasaPound advocates for those who are marginalized by the current system, namely promoting the rights of young mothers, low-income families, and the unemployed. The group also pronounces a profoundly anti-immigration platform, claiming that migrants and refugees should be blocked before their arrival in Italy and repatriated. Euroscepticism is at the core of the party’s principles; accordingly, they argue for leaving the EU and NATO, the withdrawal from EU treaties as well as the nationalisation of the Italian economy and enterprises. They further call for the strengthening of foreign relations with Russia, Japan and Eastern European countries.

(Last update on April 27, 2018)

 

CasaPound on the Internet:

 

 

Sources:

- Giulia Stefano, intern at Political Capital

 

Forza Nuova (Forza Nuova)

 

Founded in 1997, after forming from within Tricolour Flame, Forza Nuova’s  founders were known for having been members of groups active during the years of political terrorism in Italy, particularly of being part of the extreme right formations NAR and Terza Posizione. Despite Forza Nuova claiming themselves a post-ideological formation, the party can be rightly deemed a neo-fascist force that has been active in all Italian regions since 2008. FN is strongly Eurosceptic, nationalist and pro-nationalisation. Furthermore, it backed several leftist political causes like NO-TAV. Some of its members have been accused of racist aggressions in Rome against some exponents of the Bangladeshi community of the town, and other were accused of being Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites. In the 2018 elections they united with Tricolour Flame in the list Italia agli Italiani (Italy to the Italians).

(Last update on April 27, 2018)

 

Forza Nuova on the Internet:

 

 

Sources:

- Giulia Stefano, intern at Political Capital

Parliamentary elections (Chamber of Deputies) - March 4, 2018

European elections - May 25, 2014

Parliamentary elections (Chamber of Deputies) - February 24, 2013

European Parliament elections - June 7, 2009

Parliamentary elections (Chamber of Deputies) - April 13, 2008

Parliamentary elections (Chamber of Deputies) - April 9, 2006

 

Source: 2018; Ministry of the Interior; EP2014

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