According to Matteo Salvini (leader of the rightist League), they are aiming at winning the Italian premiership next Wednesday. He spoke at Sunday’s party rally in northern Italy.
A conservative coalition of parties, including the League, will win the 25 September election. Salvini will feel it as a bittersweet moment after Giorgia maloni took away his undisputed right-hand leadership.
Salvini addressed thousands of supporters waving flags at Pontida as his spiritual home, while he spoke.
Meloni’s nationalist Brothers of Italy will get about 25% of the vote. The League is expected get about 12% of the vote. This is a decrease of 34% in the European Parliament elections in 2019.
Some League veterans suggested that Salvini might lose his position if the vote shares drop further. Salvini’s defeat was not discussed by diehard supporters on Sunday.
“They may not receive as many votes but I am confident that they will win…and given it’s a coalition, they’ll rule all together,” said Marco Mollica, a Turin-based 39 year-old metalworker.
The League has returned to Pontida after a three-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It held its first annual rally in 1990.
Officials of the party claimed that the party had over 200 buses, trains and more than 100,000 supporters each year.
It was much smaller than the crowd expected for 2019, which was 35,000 to 40,000 people. Two police officers claimed that the number of participants was approximately 15,000 according to Reuters.
The wealthy north was the original home of the Northern League. Umberto Bossi was the leader of the party at the time. He demanded the secession of the south. Salvini, who was then the leader of the party, controversially removed “northern”, from its name and demanded the creation a national force. Many faithful were upset by this decision.
GUARANTEED FIRST HAND
Salvini stated that the League would make up the next government, if elected. This would allow regions to have autonomy and let them decide how taxes are spent. This promise has been met with hesitation by Meloni, a nationalist.
He stated that “Autonomy rewards those who govern well and assist citizens because it removes the mask of chatterers, leaving their people in crises for years and claiming it’s always their fault.”
Salvini, a 49-year-old, saved the party’s existence from imminent collapse nine years ago, when he took control. Salvini, 49 years old, replaced the independence battle cries slogans by “Italians first”, as well as replacing chants about Rome with insults directed at Brussels.
His strategy worked. The League formed a coalition government while Salvini was elected interior minister. But, Meloni, his ally has outperformed him in the polls due to a series of political errors.
Ministers and regional governors of the League made a formal promise to give more autonomy and to pursue cuts in taxes and energy bills at the rally’s beginning. They pledged to lower the retirement age, stop immigrant landings, improve the justice system, and increase the legal system.
Salvini promised to eliminate the EUR90 tax Italians pay each yearly to fund the state-owned broadcaster RAI and to revive small villages by declaring them tax-free real property zones.
He also pledged loyalty to Silvio Bernlusconi and Meloni’s Forza Italia.
He stated that Silvio and Giorgia have the same views about almost everything. We will rule together for five more years.