Italian right tries to regroup

Silvio Berlusconi (left), Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni (center) and Matteo Salvini (right).

Yesterday the Northern League, nowadays the main party of the Italian right, held a rally in Bologna to revamp the opposition against the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The call was answered not only by the members and sympathizers of the League, but also by the Brothers of Italy party and by Silvio Berlusconi’s Go Italy party.

The event cannot be considered a success, however. Matteo Salvini, the leader of the Northern League, had boosted that he was going to “shut down” Italy, but the only hindrance to the ordinary business came from a strike of the retail workers and from the leftist activists who staged violent protests against the rally (Bologna is a traditionally leftist city).

Mr Salvini claimed that the event was attended by 100,000 people, but the number is probably much lower. The speech by Mr Berlusconi, who was supposed to be the symbol of the renewed unity of the Italian right, was booed by some members of the crowd.

Significantly, Mr Salvini appealed to the Five Stars Movement, the main opposition party. However, the Movement does not consider itself to be rightist, and it has traditionally refused any alliance with other parties.

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