Matteo Salvini

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Matteo Salvini (born March 9, 1973) is an Italian politician who was briefly Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Italy. He leads the League, a far-right political party. He is described as "far-right" for his radical views on immigration and the European Union, which he has called a "crime against humanity."[1] He’s also pushed the Great Replacement theory regarding Muslim and Middle Eastern immigration to Italy.[2]

Rise to power[edit]

Salvini was appointed interior minister in early June 2018. At 45, he and his party, the Northern League (Italian: Lega Nord) was a regionalist nationalist party that advocated autonomy for Italy's culturally distinct Northern regions. He cut his teeth honing his uncompromising, unapologetic, and unflinchingly anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, and anti-Roma style and rhetoric as a radio station director for the party in the early and mid 2000s. However, in the 2010s, the party switched from advocating secessionism to Italian nationalism, dropping the "Northern" from its name and becoming just "League." As a far right wave began sweeping the world in the 2010s, with far-right ideas gaining traction in Poland and Italy first and eventually spreading to the United States with the election of the Cheeto Benito Donald Trump in 2016, Lega and Salvini became popular among Italians seeking a scapegoat for the country's economic troubles. [3] He had the largest support of any one party, but failed to get enough to form a government...or at least, one with his allies on the right. He then just left the alliance of right-wing parties he worked with and formed a government with the more incoherently populist Five Star Movement.[4]

In government[edit]

He was not a particularly lovable governing ally-even though the independent Giuseppe Conte became Prime Minister, Salvini continuously tried to take more power, and for a while he was strikingly successful.[5] His main priority was clamping down on immigration, making it easier to deport people by saying they were "socially dangerous," which had a very broad definition.[6] He also called for a census of the Roma people in Italy to expel all those in the country illegally, while saying it was unfortunate that those legally living in Italy would stay.[7] This was widely condemned, especially coming from a country was once under the pennant of Fascism.[8]


Because of this, he was never on good terms with his partners and indeed attempted a no-confidence vote against Conte, hoping to force a new election which would make him PM. This did not work because the Five Star Movement just made a new agreement with the Democrats instead. Having been chased out of the government, he continued to whine on the sidelines until the Conte government collapsed. He currently supports the government of Mario Draghi, another technocratic independent, though if history is any indication that should not be a comfort.

See also[edit]