Northern Italy’s pro-Italian party, the Lega de Nord (Northern League) has elected a party secretary at its conference this past weekend in Turin.
Matteo Salvini obtained 82 percent of the vote, compared to 18 percent for Umberto Bossi.
Salvini, a Member of the European Parliament, replaces Roberto Maroni, who left his position to devote himself full-time to his elected position of Governor of the Region of Lombardy.
Issues discussed at the lively conference—attended by a number of high-ranking foreign delegates—included separatism, the “fight against the EU” the euro banks, and illegal Third World immigration.
In his keynote acceptance speech, Salvini touched upon many issues of the day:
“A family is a man and woman,” he said, staking out his party’s opposition to homosexual ‘marriage.’
“December 25 is celebrated as Christmas,” he continued, lambasting those who would “turn the [European] world upside down.”
Salvini also addressed the topic of illegal Third World immigration: “They should be sent back with a kick in the backside, instead of being put before our people and our unemployed,” he said to applause.
The euro common currency also came in for criticism: “The euro is being used to screw our agriculture and our economy,” he said.
“We need to meet the criminals, the bureaucrats in Brussels, with pitchforks,” he said.
Salvini predicted that an upcoming European alliance of patriotic parties would be the “terror” of the old establishment parties. “In May [after the next scheduled European elections] we will see growth and it will be the beginning of the end of the EU empire,” he said.
Major political figures attending the conference included the Austrian Freedom Party leader Heinz Christian-Strache; the Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders; Viktor Zubarev, a Duma member and representative of the United Russia Party; Ludovic de Danne, representing Marine le Pen, president of France’s Front National, (who was absent for election commitments in France), and Gerolf Anemans, Belgian MEP for the Vlaams Belang party.