Lega (political party)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Party executive Matteo Salvini (Party Secretary - Segretario)
founding 4th December 1989
ideology Northern Italian separatism (formerly) ,
right-wing populism,
anti-globalization policy
European party Identity and Democracy Party
EP Group Identity and democracy
Headquarters ItalyItaly Milan , Via Bellerio 41
Website leganord.org
Advertising car for the Lega Nord for the regional elections in Tuscany on April 3, 2005 in the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence
Map of Europe, Padania is highlighted

The Lega ( Liga ) is a political party in Italy that has changed its name and orientation several times. Initially it was mainly active in northern Italy and was called Lega Nord (German: Liga Nord ; full name Lega Nord per l'indipendenza della Padania , translated: Liga Nord for the independence of Padania ) until 2018 . In the second half of the 2010s she also became politically active in the rest of Italy. Since Salvini took office as party secretary, the party name has often been supplemented by the words Salvini Premier .

The party advocates the federalization of the central state and the transfer of political powers to the regions of Italy (" devolution "). At times the party also represented separatist positions and called for the more prosperous northern Italy or " Padania " to split off from southern Italy . As was shown during Matteo Salvini's reign as interior minister of Italy, the party's policy is consistently nationalistic and anti-refugee.

Due to the numerous upheavals in the political system and the many new foundations within all political camps, the Lega Nord Italy is the oldest still active major party.


Gianfranco Miglio , who passed away in 2001 and propagated the constitutional and economic theories of Lorenz von Stein and Carl Schmitt , was referred to as the “chief ideologist” of the Lega Nord. He was considered the intellectual figurehead of a network of the New Right , the Synergies Européennes .

The Lega Nord's cultural self- image is a mixture of pride in the cultural heritage of northern Italy, especially with historical references to the Lombard League (the party bears the image of Alberto da Giussano , the victor of the Battle of Legnano , in its coat of arms), and resentment towards southern Italians , Promotion of federalism and regionalism, which goes hand in hand with the emphasis on a separate northern Italian culture, allegedly inspired by ancient Celticism. The supposedly more hardworking, more capable and intelligent citizens of northern Italy would supposedly differ ethnically from the backward regions of the south.

The rejection of the central Italian state and its symbols (anthem, flag, etc.) is particularly pronounced. Party members do not sing along with the national anthem Fratelli d'Italia ; it is even whistled at rallies. At events of the Lega Nord, however, the well-known freedom choir Va pensiero, sull'ali dorate from Verdi's Nabucco is sung. In addition, Bossi's statement that the Italian tricolor is only good as toilet paper caused great outrage.

The Lega Nord regards itself as an independent, liberal and, above all, regional northern Italian ("Padanische", derived from the Po, Latin padanus , which flows through the region) political force, which is fundamentally critical of large centralized (state) structures or organizations, which includes global, rather “secret” organizations that have great political influence. The Lega Nord is one of the few parties in Italy that denies Freemasons entry into the party. She is of the opinion that only small and generally socially or ethnically homogeneous structures can survive and exist as a reference to identity. Due to its regionally autonomous self-image, the Lega shows solidarity with autonomy and secession efforts all over the world, such as B. That Tibet from the Chinese central state, the Vlaams Belang , which wants to make the Flemish part of Belgium ( Flanders ) independent from the Walloon part of Belgium as well as the efforts of the Corsicans in Corsica to become independent from France.

Political classification

The Lega Nord, sometimes also described as radical regionalist or separatist , is classified by large parts of political science as right-wing populist and. a. Hans-Gerd Jaschke (2001), Frank Decker (2004), Steffen Kailitz (2006), Günther Pallaver / Reinhold Gärtner (2006), Tim Spier (2010), Karin Priester (2010), Stefan Köppl (2011), Oskar Niedermayer ( 2015) and Michael Kaeding / Niko Switek (2015). The extremism researchers Eckhard Jesse and Tom Thieme (2011) have so far certified the Lega Nord as having "soft extremism". However, recently a “re-radicalization” has been observed. The political scientist Michael Minkenberg (2011) speaks of an “increasing xenophobia ”; Emanuel Richter (1999), Günther Pallaver / Reinhold Gärtner (2006), Patrick Moreau (2012) and Aram Mattioli (2012) made similar statements . The political scientist Richard Stöss (2006) classifies the LN, which he considers right-wing extremists , in the category of “nationalistic and neo-racist, rather system-critical”. Furthermore, for extreme right or right-wing extremists, it is u. a. considered by Jean-Yves Camus (2003) and Laurent Kestel / Laurent Godmer (2004); alternatively, some of them are classified as right-wing radicalism.

Duncan McDonnell (2006), on the other hand, thinks that the Northern League is primarily regionalist and populist, and that it falls short of being assigned to the radical right or similar categories. According to Marco Tarchi (2007), the Lega Nord shows all the characteristics of a populist party and represents extreme positions on contentious issues, but its classification in the list of right-wing extremist or right-wing extremist parties is inappropriate and would lead to misunderstandings about its character.

Party platform

The Lega Nord party program is a combination of political and fiscal federalism and regionalism . The party supports the protection of the respective regional (Lombard, Venetian, Piedmontese etc.) culture, tradition and languages ​​(dialects). The ideological basis of the Lega Nord can be described as a collection of various regionalist endeavors that have been grouped under the guise of federalism. For this reason, it seems in principle possible that the Lega could ally itself with other autonomy movements from central and southern Italy and in this way expand its political sphere of influence. In fact, the Lega is holding talks with autonomy movements from all over Italy, e.g. E.g. with the Union Valdôtaine , the Trentino- based Partito Autonomista Trentino Tirolese , the Sicilian Movimento per le Autonomie and the Sardinian Partito Sardo d'Azione . The southern Italian Lega Sud Ausonia is considered a sister party.

A first success of these talks was the joint election in the Italian parliamentary elections in 2006 with the Movimento per le Autonomie under the Lega Nord MPA list .


In the early years, the actual goals of the Lega Nord remained unclear at first due to the party program, which had not been developed at all: even then, some exponents of the party advocated radical secessionism in the Yugoslav style, while others spoke in a much more moderate tone for more autonomy for the northern Italians Regions. Ultimately, the Lega declared federalism to be its main political concern, which was quickly adopted by other Italian parties as a popular slogan for reforming the Italian central state - with the exception of the neo-fascists and communists . The former viewed federalism as a fragmentation of the homeland and a synonym for small states , the latter as an attempt to undermine supra-regional solidarity, which must be seen in connection with the economic north-south divide that is characteristic of Italy.

Civic flag? The flag of Padania proposed by the Lega Nord, the Alpine sun

After the election success in 1996 (10.4% of the votes at national level, peak value of 35.8% in the Lombardy 2 constituency, the best result in its history before 2018), the Lega Nord radicalized itself in its autonomy efforts, now represented open secessionism and proclaimed the division of Italy into three macro-regions defined by the well-known political scientist Gianfranco Miglio , who is regarded as the “chief ideologist” of the Lega Nord : Padania for northern Italy, Etruria for central Italy and Ausonia as the name for the southern Italian macro-region. As a symbolic act for the birth of the new nation, Bossi filled a vial with spring water from the Po and a few days later had it poured into the sea by a little girl near Venice as part of a cultic-patriotic festival .

In addition, a militant but unarmed troop was formed from volunteers: the so-called green shirts ( green is the color of Padania). Critics then described the newly founded group as a counterpart to the black shirts of fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini , but the green shirts admitted to nonviolence and even secret weapon possession could never be proven.


The return of the Lega Nord in 2000 to the renewed center-right alliance Casa delle Libertà by Silvio Berlusconi forced the Lega to moderate its rhetoric regarding its regionalist demands. In August 2006, party leader Bossi officially withdrew from secessionism after threatening in May, after a lost referendum on a constitutional amendment sought by the Berlusconi government, that northern Italy would join Switzerland . In June 2006, a majority of 61.3% of Italians rejected a constitutional reform that would have given the regions far-reaching powers and the prime minister more political power.

Today, the Lega is launching its state-political demands more in the direction of devolution on the British model rather than far-reaching secessionism. This led u. a. to split off some groups from the parent party.

On September 29, 2007 - as part of the Parlamento del Nord event and in the presence of Silvio Berlusconi - the chairman Umberto Bossi spoke again about violent separatism and said: “Freedom can no longer be conquered in parliament, but through the struggle of Millions of men ready to sacrifice in a war of liberation. "

During its renewed participation in the government of Silvio Berlusconi from May 2008 to November 2011, the party no longer made such radical demands.


Although the federalization of the Italian central state or the achievement of autonomy for the north of Italy is still the undisputed main goal of the Lega and it even holds out the prospect of ceasing its political activity if this goal is achieved, the Lega is, in contrast to its early years, not one One-topic protest party more.

State policy

The central part of the program at the moment is the relocation of competences from the central Italian state to the Italian regions (“ devolution ”).

Specifically and as a first step in the direction of devolution , the Lega Nord demands the transfer of exclusive competencies to the Italian central state in the areas

  • Health care (health care and sanitary organization)
  • Education (school organization, administration of schools and further education institutions. Definition of those parts of school and further education programs with a specific regional interest)
  • regional police

on the Italian regions.

The actual transfer of competencies should take place in stages in a “two-speed” system: Regions that meet certain administrative requirements, such as resources and administrative capacities, should be able to use the additional competencies immediately. Regions that do not meet these requirements should be given those competencies at a later date.

Economic policy

In its economic policy, the Lega Nord primarily combines liberal economic principles with regionalist elements. The practice of economic development should be based on the locally available workforce and small and medium-sized companies, but especially family businesses, should be promoted. This item on the program can be seen as a protection program specifically for the local economic structures in Lombardy and Veneto , where there is a large density of small family businesses. Furthermore, she calls for a radical reduction in bureaucracy, and local industries should “no longer have to endure interference by state authorities”.

Finance and tax policy

In financial policy, the Lega criticizes Italy's centralized tax system with its redistribution mechanisms from the financially strong (northern) regions to the economically weak (southern) regions. Specifically, the Lega calls for taxes to be levied exclusively at regional level in the future, which goes hand in hand with the demand for a weakening of the supra-regional financial equalization.

The promotion policy practiced for the development of structurally weak regions (especially in the south), which is mainly financed with northern Italian taxpayers' money due to the redistribution, is being strongly attacked, with Rome being denigrated as a synonym for Italian central authority as Roma ladrona (Italian for "thieving Rome") and as Institution that squandered the money of the rich north is represented. This critical stance reached its climax against the background of the Mani pulite investigations against corrupt politicians and business leaders, which ultimately led to the collapse of the political system of the first Italian Republic, as well as the tax increases by the center-left Amato government (introduction of a tax on real estate) In 1996 in an appeal by the Northern League, in which the party even called on its supporters to protest against taxes. Citizens were asked to transfer only small amounts of money, regardless of their actual tax burden, to the tax authorities and no longer to subscribe to fixed-interest government bonds. Ultimately, the call for a tax protest ended in failure, as neither a significant number of citizens followed nor the subscription of government bonds declined.

In terms of tax policy, the Lega also advocates tax cuts, in particular in favor of families and small and medium-sized (family) companies, whereby the priority of corporate tax cuts in the Lega's political ranking is higher than a lowering of income tax.

Accordingly, the then Labor and Social Affairs said Roberto Maroni in the previous debate on the adopted on 26 November 2004 by the Italian Chamber of Deputies tax cut package the government Berlusconi rather, the priority of tax cuts on the abolition of corporate tax Irap, rather than a reduction in income tax to put .

The Lega is also calling for an end to state financial aid for ailing and crisis-ridden Italian traditional and large companies, as happened at Fiat or Alitalia .

Domestic politics

In matters of internal security, the Lega advocates tough crackdown by the security forces against crime , illegal immigration (especially those from Muslim and African countries) and terrorism . She also advocates a right to self-defense in the event of attacks on one's own person or property. So it was politicians from the Lega (but also from the Alleanza Nazionale and from La Destra ) who, since mid-2008, have been pushing for so-called "vigilante groups" to be anchored in law: unarmed citizens who - in order to relieve the police of this task - have been forced by the Patrol cities to track down petty criminals, street vendors and illegal immigrants.

In early 2006, the Lega initiated a “law on self-defense” for this purpose, which was passed by the Italian parliament with a majority of the center-right alliance. The law permits the use of legally registered weapons or “other suitable means” if an attack on the physical integrity or personal property occurs within one's own four walls (including business premises), and in these cases it basically assumes self-defense .

Furthermore, the former Italian Justice Minister Roberto Castelli refused to sign a pardon issued by the former Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi for the left-wing terrorist Adriano Sofri , who had been convicted of murder, thus preventing Sofri's early release.

The Lega takes a conservative stance on societal and ethical issues such as abortion , euthanasia , embryonic stem cell research , artificial insemination , rights for same-sex couples (although there was a homosexual association called LOS Padania - Libero Orientamento Sessuale that sympathized with the party ) and drug use.

Immigration and Aliens Policy

In terms of immigration policy, the Lega Nord opposes further immigration to Italy - especially from Muslim and African countries. Parts of the party, on the other hand, advocate immigration from European countries with a “Christian-Western tradition” in order to protect the so-called “Christian identity” of Italy and Europe.

The Lega Nord works to preserve regional (Lombard, Venetian, Piedmontese, etc.) identities. The party is also trying to win voters from German-speaking South Tyroleans and other autochthonous minorities.

A multicultural society is rejected as a “break with the balance that is essential for human life”, as is the construction of mosques in Italy. The latter is with z. Sometimes accompanied controversial actions. For example, supporters of the Northern League drove a herd of pigs - animals regarded as “unclean” in Islam - onto a still vacant property in the northern Italian town of Lodi near Milan in order to prevent the planned construction of a mosque there.

The Lega is also fighting against the establishment of Islamic schools in Italy, which was particularly evident in the case of the first private Arab school in Milan supported by the Egyptian consulate: the school management of that school had decided to start teaching, although no official approval had yet been given of the Lombard school authorities. The Lega Nord demanded the school to be closed immediately and characterized Islamic schools in general as “ghettos that hinder integration”.

In addition, the Lega campaigned for a strengthening of the Italian coast guard in order to shield the Italian coasts and the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa from refugees from North Africa . By working with the Libyan authorities and by repelling migrant boats on the high seas, the Italian government has greatly reduced the number of immigrants arriving in Italy. The sometimes tough approach was sharply criticized by the UNHCR and the Catholic Church. In 2011, leading Lega politicians such as Deputy Transport Minister Roberto Castelli or MEP Francesco Speroni even called for the use of military weapons against the - mainly Tunisian - refugees from North Africa.

Nevertheless, the province of Treviso , traditional stronghold of the party, has been cited as a positive example of the successful integration of migrants. The province of Treviso achieved the best value in the 2006 integration report by Caritas / Migrantes.

The election of the Italian-American Sandy Cane as mayor of the village of Viggiù in the province of Varese also caused a stir . She was the first black woman to be elected mayor of an Italian community and is a militant member of the Lega Nord.

International observers, on the other hand, accuse the party of racism and agitation against immigrants and Islam .

European politics

Although the Lega Nord rated the EU and the Maastricht Treaty positively in its election manifesto for the Italian parliamentary elections in 1994 , it has now made a name for itself as a sharp critic of the European Union . It was the only party in the center-right alliance Casa delle Libertà to vote against the European Constitutional Treaty together with the Party of the Communist Re-establishment in the Italian Parliament .

The Lega did not see itself as anti-European in its self-image. Thus, the Lega used in the 1990s, the motto Più lontani da Roma, più vicini all'Europa ( "The further away from Rome, the closer to Europe") to its positive attitude towards Europe and the disapproval of the Italian centralism clarify . However, only the regions of northern Italy were referred to as "Europe-ready"; the south was seen rather as an obstacle on the way to Europe.

The party's criticism focuses mainly on the transfer of powers from the nation states to the European Union and its institutions, which is seen as a threat to northern Italian aspirations for autonomy. She criticizes the current political system of the EU as the "establishment of a European superstate" and opposes this with the idea of ​​a " Europe of the regions ". The Lega Nord also rejects Turkey's accession to the EU .

As the financial and economic crisis wore on, criticism of the austerity policies of the Monti , Letta , Renzi and Gentiloni governments in order to reduce the Italian national debt in accordance with European rules and an EU that had become an instrument of taming the member states grew a central topic of the party. This development intensified under the party leadership of Matteo Salvini since December 2013, who called for the abolition of the Maastricht Treaty, the euro and the Schengen Agreement . To this end, Salvini is also striving for cooperation with other right-wing populist parties in Europe, such as the Front national , the Freedom Party of Austria or the Alternative for Germany .

Foreign policy

Umberto Bossi, who met Slobodan Milošević during the Kosovo war

In terms of foreign policy, the Northern League has taken a pro-Russian stance since the beginning of the war in Ukraine . The party calls for solidarity with Moscow and the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the Russian annexation of Crimea . The Lega Nord is one of the right-wing parties that accepted Russia's invitation to act as an election observer in the occupied Crimea. An important step in the party's pro-Russian orientation was a large-scale demonstration against foreigners organized by Lega Nord, CasaPound Italia and other neo-fascist groups in Milan in October 2014. The demonstrators held up posters and pictures of Russian President Putin and waved the flags of the self-proclaimed “ Donetsk People's Republic ”. Party leader Matteo Salvini posed in T-shirts with the face of Putin. Following the demonstration, Salvini and other members traveled to Moscow, and later again to occupied Crimea, to meet with Putin and Alexei Pushkov and to sign a treaty based on shared values. The Lega Nord supports the Associazione Culturale Lombardia Russia, an organization in northern Italy that ideologically represents neo-Eurasism according to Alexander Dugin and is headed by Dugin's colleague Alexej Komow.

In March 2017, the Northern League and Putin's United Russia party signed a five-year association agreement. Salvini stated that his party would work to ensure that the Italian parliamentary elections would be as open as in Russia. The agreement provides for consultations and the exchange of information, for example on “topical issues”, delegations will visit each other and hold seminars, work together in the Council of Europe and the OSCE and strengthen economic contacts. The Lega boss Salvini denied media reports about financing from Russia. He thinks Putin is a “great politician” and he does it “for free”.

The Lega Nord takes a critical to hostile position towards the United States. In the newspaper of the Lega Nord, anti-Americanist leading articles appear, for example, by the new-right pioneer Alain de Benoist . In the context of the Kosovo war , the Northern League took sides with the Serbian leadership under Slobodan Milošević and condemned the NATO intervention, which culminated in a personal meeting between Umberto Bossi and Milošević.

Defense policy

In terms of defense policy, the Lega demands that recruits can do their (voluntary) military service in their home region, as well as the conversion of the Italian armed forces into "regional guards", which should use their knowledge of the country to wage a guerrilla war in the event of a defense.

In the program, the paper Lega Congress 1994 in Bologna which is NATO -Membership Italy to the creation of a "European defense alliance" deemed necessary. In addition, military interventions are only approved if they have a humanitarian character.

Agricultural policy

In terms of agricultural policy, the Lega represents many Italian farmers who are dissatisfied with the European subsidy and promotion policy within the framework of the common agricultural policy . In the basic program of the "Lega Autonomista Lombarda" (since 1986 Lega Lombarda ) from 1983, agriculture is described as a "valuable collection of cultural, human and landscape values".

In addition, the Lega advocates the protection of traditional foods and rejects the cultivation of genetically modified plants .

Environmental policy

In terms of environmental policy, the Lega Nord pursues a more ecological course than all the other parties in the Casa delle Libertà , which is clear from the Lega’s participation in local and regional governments, in which they often advocate the construction of public green spaces, the declaration of nature reserves, recycling and waste separation as well as for strict adherence to building codes in rural areas. It should be noted that the first European parliamentarians of the Lega belonged to the so-called rainbow group, which was mainly formed by the European Greens , during the fourth legislative period of the European Parliament .


Forerunner and foundation

An elementary forerunner of the Lega Nord was the Lombard autonomy movement Lega Lombarda , founded in the early 1980s , which first received media attention in 1987 when its then chairman Umberto Bossi was elected to the Italian Senate. Because of his election to the Senate, Bossi bears his nickname Senatur , which is the Italian word Senatore in the Lombard dialect.

In 1983 , Achille Tramarin was elected to the Italian House of Representatives and Graziano Girardi to the Italian Senate for the Liga Veneta , an autonomous movement based in Veneto .

In 1991 the Lega Lombarda merged with other autonomy movements, including a. Liga Veneta , Piedmont Autonomista , Uniun Ligure , Lega Emiliano-Romagnola , Alleanza Toscana to the Lega Nord party, of which Bossi has been chairman since then. The respective parties continued to exist as "national sections" within the Lega Nord, which was reflected in the list names of the upcoming regional elections, in which the party as Lega Lombarda-Lega Nord , Liga Veneta-Lega Nord, etc. ran. In the same year Bossi became a member of the European Parliament.

In the early 1990s was the Lega Nord during the destruction of the political system of the first Italian Republic as a result of Mani pulite -Ermittlungen in northern Italy for the mass party .

Establishment as a permanent political force, first participation in government

In the Italian parliamentary elections in 1992, the Lega Nord in northern Italy ran as an independent force and won 8.7% of the vote nationwide.

After the early elections in 1994, the Lega Nord ran as a reaction to a reform of the electoral law that forced membership in party alliances - 75% of the parliamentary seats were determined by majority voting - together with the newly founded liberal-conservative Forza Italia of the entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi and the national conservatives Alleanza Nazionale under Gianfranco Fini in the three-party alliance Polo delle Libertà .

After the election of the Polo delle Libertà , the Lega Nord joined the first government of Silvio Berlusconi as part of the Polo del Buon Governo coalition , in which the Lega controlled five departments:

The Ministry of the Interior with Roberto Maroni , the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Budget (not the Ministry of Finance) with Giancarlo Pagliarini , the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Crafts with Vito Gnutti , the Ministry of European Policy Coordination with Domenico Comino and the Ministry of Institutional Reforms under Francesco Speroni .

At the end of the year, Bossi withdrew Berlusconi - Bossi referred to him as Berluscaz , a composition with cazzo ("tail"), or as "Berlus Emperor" - and the government was overthrown. An important reason for this step was the fact that the Lega was unable to convey to its regular voters that it would participate in the government in Rome despite its advocacy of secession and the associated criticism of the central Italian state.

In the period between the fall of the Berlusconi government and the new elections in 1996, the Lega Nord supported the technical government of Lamberto Dini , which was largely supported by center-left parties.

After the Lega broke away from the Berlusconi alliance, the Italian left tried to bind the party to itself in the longer term. At the Lega party congress in February 1995, the then party secretary of the PDS (later Left Democrats ) Massimo D'Alema said: "The Lega Nord is a democratic people's movement, the largest workers' party in the north, a rib of the left (costola della Sinistra)."

In the 1996 elections, however, the Lega placed itself in the political center, hoping to tip the scales . The left got around 42% of the vote and the right almost the same percentage, the Lega Nord 10.1%, the best election result in its history. However, due to the electoral system, which was strongly influenced by majority voting, the majority of parliamentary seats fell to the left.

The independent years 1996-2001

In the years after the electoral victory of the center-left (1996-2000) Bossi intensified his separatist efforts in the opposition , which aimed at the establishment of an independent northern Italian state called Padania and the capital Mantua . This included the establishment of a Parliament of Padania and the elaboration of a Padan ideology that was inspired by ancient Celticism . Patriotic cultic festivities were also held around the river Po , with whose water Bossi filled a vial at the source every year and then poured it into the sea in Venice , as a symbol of the “purity” of the north. Other focal points of the party program were the rejection of immigrants and criticism of the European Union .

Return to center-right and second participation in government

In 2000, the Lega Nord returned to Berlusconi's newly established center-right alliance with the new name Casa delle Libertà . After the victory of Casa delle Libertà in the Italian parliamentary elections in 2001, in which the party suffered landslide losses and only got 3.9% of the vote, Bossi joined the cabinet as Minister for Institutional Reform and Devolution. Other ministers of the Lega Nord in the second Berlusconi government were Roberto Castelli , who headed the Ministry of Justice, and Roberto Maroni , who took over the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

In the second Berlusconi government 2001–2006, the Lega Nord was an essential factor of stability and one of Berlusconi's most loyal coalition partners. During this electoral term, the Lega held 30 of the 630 seats in the Italian House of Representatives and provided 17 of 325 senators in the Italian Senate.

In the following years, and also because of its participation in government, the Lega Nord concentrated increasingly on the relocation of competences of the Italian central state to the regions ( devolution ) and on greater fiscal autonomy instead of the independence of a northern Italian state "Padania".

The current main goal of the Lega, to federalize the entire Italian state as a whole, makes a big difference to other European autonomy movements, which only claim autonomy rights for the regions in which they are active.

On March 11, 2004, Bossi suffered a heart attack and a stroke . After a long recovery , he left the crisis-ridden government of Silvio Berlusconi on July 19, 2004, allegedly for health reasons alone, to join the European Parliament as a member of the European Parliament . His ministry was taken over by Roberto Calderoli .

Parliamentary election 2006 and constitutional referendum

In November 2005, a constitutional reform initiated by the Casa delle Libertà was adopted by the Italian Senate amid fierce protests from the left opposition, after having passed the Italian Chamber of Deputies a month earlier. In essence, it envisaged strengthening the Prime Minister, who was to be given the right to dismiss ministers from his cabinet, vis-à-vis the President, greater political and fiscal autonomy for the Italian regions, and the restructuring of the Italian Senate into a chamber of states.

Particularly the strengthening of the regions vis-à-vis the Italian central state, which after the reform was supposed to give up powers in education policy, health care and police administration to the regions, was an important concern of the Lega Nord.

Since the constitutional reform of the Casa delle Libertà was not passed by a two-thirds majority in each of the two chambers of parliament, the left opposition still had the option of stopping the reform via referendum, which they also made use of. The referendum was scheduled for June 26, 2006.

In February 2006, the Lega Nord announced in exploratory talks that it had reached an agreement with the newly founded Sicilian autonomy movement Movimento per le Autonomie of the European Parliamentarian and President of the Province of Catania Raffaele Lombardo on a joint election for the Italian parliamentary elections in 2006.

In the 2006 parliamentary elections, the Lega Nord-MPA list connection finally achieved 4.6% of the votes, which was a gain of 0.7% compared to the 2001 parliamentary election. However, due to the electoral defeat of the Casa delle Libertà , the Lega Nord was able to send four fewer MPs or senators to both chambers of parliament, since the electoral law introduced by the Berlusconi government shortly before the parliamentary elections gave majority bonuses (for the Italian Senate only at regional level) for the Election winners and thus the number of seats of the parties in the losing party alliance was no longer in proportion to the percentage result achieved.

After the election defeat, the Lega concentrated on the referendum on constitutional reform on June 26 and propagated a “yes” from the population.

Umberto Bossi's statement caused a sensation during an interview in which he said that if the constitutional reform were rejected in a referendum, there would be people who tried to use “undemocratic methods” to achieve autonomy for northern Italy. Although Bossi never said that his own party was pursuing “undemocratic methods”, his statement sparked widespread controversy in Italy and drew sharp criticism from the left-wing party alliance L'Unione and even parts of the Casa delle Libertà .

After the constitutional reform had been rejected in the referendum with 61.7% to 38.3%, several months after the defeat of the northern Italian aspirations for autonomy, Bossi gave a speech to the independence faction of the Lega Nord, represented by Mario Borghezio , in which he declared, that the Lega will achieve its goals through legal institutional reforms. Two days later, Roberto Castelli , former Minister of Justice and current leader of the Lega Nord parliamentary group in the Italian Senate, declared the "secession for dead", referring to promising secession efforts "in the present". An independent state of Padania remained a long-term goal of the Lega Nord.

Parliamentary election 2008, third government participation

2008 Lega North Tuscany election poster

After the former center-right alliance Casa delle Libertà finally broke up in mid-November 2007, the Lega Nord decided not to join the Popolo della Libertà, newly founded by Silvio Berlusconi . Instead, it stuck to its identity and its independence as a party. In the parliamentary elections in 2008 she entered with her own list and entered a list connection with the Popolo della Libertà . She received 8.3% of the vote in the election to the House of Representatives and 8.1% in the election to the Senate, which corresponds to a very significant increase compared to the election result in the 2006 parliamentary election . The Lega Nord almost reached its peak values ​​of 1992, 1994 and 1996. In Veneto it received the highest share of the vote with 26.05% and was only just behind Popolo della Libertà and Partito Democratico , in Lombardy it got 20.72% ( Data refer to the Senate). In addition, it was able to gain significant votes in the central Italian regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Marche. With 60 deputies and 25 senators, Lega Nord is the third largest parliamentary group in the 16th legislative period.

In the Berlusconi IV cabinet , she was represented by 4 ministers (Ministry of the Interior, Agriculture, Reform and Law Simplification Ministry) and 5 State Secretaries. Umberto Bossi was reform minister, his “right arm” Roberto Maroni held the office of interior minister, Luca Zaia that of agriculture minister before he was elected president of the Veneto region, while Roberto Calderoli held the office of minister for legislative simplification.

Government crisis 2011, financial scandal and Bossi's departure

In the context of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of national unity, the party only promised not to disrupt the celebrations after it was granted a public holiday for its regular voter region of northern Italy. In fact, the party leadership then took part in the celebrations of the two chambers on the afternoon of March 17, 2011.

After Berlusconi's resignation on November 12, 2011, a technicians' government was formed under the leadership of former EU Commissioner Mario Monti . The Monti cabinet was not supported by the Lega Nord, making the Lega, together with the Italia dei Valori, the only opposition party in the Italian parliament.

In April 2012 the party was rocked by a financial scandal. Prosecutors opened investigations into embezzlement, fraud and illegal party funding against the party's long-time treasurer, Francesco Belsito. The Lega Nord's balance sheets are said to have been "massively falsified", and the sons of party leader Bossi, Riccardo and Renzo, are said to have received around 250,000 euros, and Bossi's close trusted Rosi Mauro 300,000 euros. Bossi took the consequences of the scandal, which weighed heavily on him and his family, and on April 5, 2012, resigned from the position of party chairman.

On July 1, 2012, the former Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni was elected as the new party chairman, who has since tried to reorient the party.

Developments since 2013

In the parliamentary elections on February 24 and 25, 2013 , the Lega Nord's share of the vote was halved compared to 2008; it came to just 4.3%. In the regional elections taking place at the same time in Lombardy, Italy's most populous region, she was able to appoint the regional president again for the first time since the mid-1990s. He was followed on December 15, 2013 by Matteo Salvini. Under him there was a realignment of the Lega, which since then has acted less as a separatist party of the north and more as an all-Italian right-wing party, in order to fill the vacuum that the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Popolo della Libertà or Forza Italia and the Alleanza Nazionale of Gianfranco Fini left behind on the right-wing political spectrum. With the demise of Silvio Berlusconi's party, which split over the question of supporting Enrico Letta's government , this hope was fulfilled. The main enemy images are immigration , especially of boat refugees from Africa, the alleged " Islamization " and the EU as well as the austerity policy of the Italian government. The term “Padanien” has been removed from the party logo and is rarely used in political discourse, the party mostly only speaks of itself as “La Lega” . Cooperation with other European right-wing parties such as the Front National , the FPÖ , the Sweden Democrats and the Dutch Partij voor de Vrijheid has been intensified, and recently also with the Alternative für Deutschland . Noi con Salvini was founded as the “sister party” of the Lega for the south of Italy, and Salvini is also the party chairman.

In November 2014, the right-wing alliance led by the Lega achieved a respectable success in the traditionally left-wing region of Emilia-Romagna with 29.9% of the votes ; in the regional elections in May 2015, Luca Zaia was re-elected for the Lega as President of the Veneto region with an absolute majority .

In the run-up to the parliamentary elections on March 4, 2018 , the Lega concluded an electoral alliance with Forza Italia and the national conservative Fratelli d'Italia, modeled on previous alliances in previous elections, with the agreement that the strongest party within the camp would provide the prime minister. After the polls had predicted for months a comeback of Berlusconi's Forza Italia as the strongest right-wing party, the Lega finally won 17.4% of the vote for the House of Representatives and 17.6% for the Senate, clearly surpassing the FI and making it their best Result since its inception. The Lega then formed a coalition with the Movimento 5 Stelle (five stars), in which Salvini became interior minister and Giuseppe Conte, supported by the five stars, became prime minister.

During Salvini's trip to Moscow in October 2018, his press spokesman, Gianluca Savoini, met with three Russian confidants of President Vladimir Putin and other Italians to negotiate illegal donations from the Russian state to the Lega in the amount of 65 million US dollars. The affair came to the public in July 2019 through secretly recorded conversations and led to investigations by the Italian public prosecutor. The coalition partner Five Stars and the opposition called for a parliamentary committee of inquiry. In February 2019, the Italian magazine L'Espresso reported on another attempt by the Lega to obtain illegal funds amounting to 3 million US dollars from Russia.

Another fundraising affair led the party to be sentenced by the Italian Supreme Court in August 2019 to repay illegally received public funding of 50 million euros. In addition, some major political parties were sentenced to prison terms.

On August 8, 2019, the Lega ended the government coalition with the five stars .

European elections

In 1989 the Lega Nord, then Lega Lombarda - Alleanza per il Nord , ran for the first time in the European elections. It was only able to collect 1.8% of the vote, but that still enables it to win two seats in Strasbourg. Umberto Bossi was elected to the European Parliament and kept his seat there until April 2008, when he accepted the election to the Italian Parliament. In the legislative period 1989–1994, the Lega of the rainbow faction in the European Parliament belonged to the reservoir for regionalist parties at that time. In 1991 she joined the regionalist European party association European Free Alliance .

After the 1994 elections, Lega Nord joined the Group of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Europe (ELDR) . She was suspended from the EFA. In 1997 most of the Lega members left the ELDR parliamentary group, only Raimondo Fassa remained in the ELDR until 1999.

From 1999 to 2001 the Lega was part of the Technical Group of Independent MEPs . After its dissolution due to “lack of political affiliation”, the party's MPs remained non-attached.

In 2004 she joined the Europe-critical group Independence and Democracy , from which she was excluded after the controversy over the T-shirts with the imprinted Mohammed cartoons issued by the Italian minister and Lega politician Roberto Calderoli . Afterwards she was a member of the national-conservative and Eurosceptic parliamentary group Union for a Europe of Nations .

In the 2009 European elections , the party achieved its best result in European elections with 10.2% of the votes and sent 9 MEPs to Strasbourg who belonged to the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group. This mainly comprised right-wing conservative and Eurosceptic parties, in addition to the Lega, for example, the UK Independence Party . In 2011, Lega Nord helped found the European political party Movement for a Europe of Freedom and Democracy (MELD).

At the end of 2013, Lega Nord stopped working in MELD and formed an alliance with the French Front National , the Austrian FPÖ and the Dutch PVV for the upcoming 2014 European elections . The Lega Nord achieved 6.15% and 5 seats. The desired faction of the alliance did not materialize, however. However, some of the parties subsequently founded the European political party Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom (MENL). In the European Parliament, MEPs have belonged to the Europe of Nations and Freedom Group since June 2015 .

In March 2017, a cooperation agreement was signed with the ruling United Russia party .

Results in the European elections
year be right proportion of Mandates fraction
1989 636.242 1.8%
1994 2,162,586 6.5%
ELDR / f'los
1999 1,395,547 4.5%
TDI / f'los
2004 1,613,506 5.0%
2009 3,126,915 10.2%
2014 1,688,197 6.2%
2019 9.175.208 34.3%

Election results

Results at national level since 1989

be right % Seats
Parliamentary elections 1992 Chamber of Deputies 3,395,384 8.7 55
senate 2,732,461 8.2 25th
Parliamentary elections 1994 Chamber of Deputies 3,235,248 8.4 117
senate together with Polo delle Libertà - 60
General election 1996 Chamber of Deputies 3,776,354 10.1 59
senate 3,394,733 10.4 27
2001 parliamentary elections Chamber of Deputies 1,464,301 3.9 30th
senate together with Casa delle Libertà - 17th
General election 2006 Chamber of Deputies 1,747,730 4.6 26th
senate 1,530,667 4.5 14th
General election 2008 Chamber of Deputies 3,026,844 8.3 60
senate 2,644,248 8.1 26th
Parliamentary elections 2013 Chamber of Deputies 1,390,156 4.1 19th
senate 1,328,555 4.3 17th
Parliamentary elections 2018 Chamber of Deputies 5,694,351 17.3 125
senate 5,323,045 17.6 58

Results at regional level since 1985

Regional elections

year Aosta Valley Liguria Piedmont Lombardy Veneto Trentino-South Tyrol Friuli Venezia Giulia Emilia-Romagna Tuscany Brands Umbria Lazio Abruzzo Molise Campania Apulia Basilicata Calabria Sicily Sardinia
1985 - 0.9 1.1 0.5 3.7 - - 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.4 - - - - - - - - -
1990 - 6.1 5.1 18.9 7.2 - - 2.9 0.8 0.2 0.2 - - - - - - - - -
1993 7.6 - - - - 9.6 26.7 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
1995 - 6.6 9.9 17.7 16.7 - - 3.4 0.7 0.5 - 0.5 - - 0.3 0.4 - 0.5 - -
1998 3.4 - - - - 4.7 17.3 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2000 - 4.3 7.6 15.5 12.0 - - 2.6 0.6 - 0.3 - - - - - - - - -
2003 - - - - - 3.0 9.3 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2005 - 4.7 8.5 15.8 14.7 - - 4.8 1.3 0.9 - - - - - - - - - -
2008 - - - - - 7.3 12.9 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2010 - 10.2 16.7 26.2 35.2 - - 13.6 6.4 6.3 4.3 - - - - - - - - -
2013 12.2 - - 13.0 - 5.0 8.3 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
2014 - - 7.3 - - - - 19.4 - - - - - - - - - - - -
2015 - 20.3 - - 17.8 - - - 16.2 13.0 14.0 - - - - 2.3 - - - -
2017 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 5.7 -
2018 17.1 - - 29.4 - 18.0 34.9 - - - - 10.0 - 8.2 - - - - - -
2019 - - 37.1 - - - - - - - - - 27.5 - - - 19.2 - - 11.4

Elections to the Chamber of Deputies

year Aosta Valley Liguria Piedmont Lombardy Veneto Trentino-South Tyrol Friuli Venezia Giulia Emilia-Romagna Tuscany Brands Umbria Lazio Abruzzo Molise Campania Apulia Basilicata Calabria Sicily Sardinia ITALY
1992 - 14.3 16.3 23.0 17.8 8.9 15.3 9.6 3.1 1.3 1.1 - - - - - - - - - 8.7
1994 17.2 11.4 15.7 22.1 21.6 7.6 16.9 6.4 2.2 - - - - - - - - - - - 8.4
1996 8.1 10.2 18.2 25.5 29.3 13.2 23.2 7.2 1.8 1.5 1.1 - - - - - - - - - 10.1
2001 21.9 3.9 5.9 12.1 10.2 3.7 8.2 3.3 0.6 0.3 - - - - - - - - - - 3.9
2006 2.0 3.7 6.3 11.7 11.1 4.5 7.2 3.9 1.1 1.0 0.8 - - - - - - - - - 4.1
2008 - 6.8 12.6 21.6 27.1 9.4 13.0 7.8 2.0 2.2 1.7 - - - - - - - - - 8.3
2013 3.3 2.3 4.8 12.9 10.5 4.2 6.7 2.6 0.7 0.7 0.6 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.1 4.1
2018 17.7 19.9 21.7 26.7 31.3 19.2 25.8 19.2 17.4 17.3 20.1 16.4 17.1 9.7 3.8 6.7 7.5 6.1 5.5 10.9 17.3

European elections

year Aosta Valley Liguria Piedmont Lombardy Veneto Trentino-South Tyrol Friuli Venezia Giulia Emilia-Romagna Tuscany Brands Umbria Lazio Abruzzo Molise Campania Apulia Basilicata Calabria Sicily Sardinia ITALY
1989 0.5 1.4 2.1 8.1 1.7 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 1.8
1994 5.7 8.0 11.5 17.7 15.7 4.8 11.2 6.4 1.6 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.2 6.6
1999 2.0 3.7 7.8 13.1 10.7 2.4 10.1 3.0 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 4.5
2004 3.0 4.1 8.2 13.8 14.1 3.5 8.5 3.4 0.8 0.9 0.6 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 5.0
2009 4.4 9.9 15.7 22.7 28.4 9.9 17.5 11.1 4.3 5.5 3.6 1.1 1.3 0.7 0.5 0.3 0.6 1.0 0.3 0.7 10.2
2014 6.8 5.6 7.6 14.6 15.6 7.6 9.3 5.0 2.6 2.7 2.5 1.6 0.8 1.0 0.7 0.6 0.7 0.7 0.9 1.4 6.2
2019 37.2 33.9 37.1 43.4 49.9 27.8 42.6 33.8 31.5 38.0 38.2 32.7 35.3 24.3 19.2 25.3 23.3 22.6 20.8 27.6 34.3

... at the local level

At the local level, the Northern League is mainly represented in the regions of Friuli, Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont.


Immediately after the Mani Pulite political scandal , the party was able to push through its candidate Marco Formentini as mayor of Milan (1993-1997). Also Verona (Flavio Tosi, 2007-2017) and Padua (Massimo Bitonci, 2014-2016) have been ruled by the Lega. The Lega currently provides mayors in 16 Italian cities with over 30,000 inhabitants.


The party provides or provided the president of four provinces in northern Italy.

province region Residents president Period
Sondrio Lombardy 181.712 Luca Della Bitta 2014-2018
Treviso Veneto 885.972 Stefano Marcon since 2016
Trent Trentino-South Tyrol 538.604 Maurizio Fugatti since 2018
Udine Friuli Venezia Giulia 533.282 Pietro Fontanini 2008-2018


In the mid-1990s, the Lega Nord was only able to provide the governor of Lombardy (Paolo Arrigoni, 1994–1995) and Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Pietro Fontanini, 1993–1994, Alessandra Guerra 1994–1995, Sergio Cecotti 1995–1996) for a short time. Otherwise she was significantly involved in the regional governments of northern Italy, but was never able to occupy the highest office in a region.

In the regional elections on March 28 and 29, 2010, Lega Nord succeeded in pushing through its top candidates in two regions. In Veneto, the previous Italian Minister of Agriculture, Luca Zaia, was elected regional president with over 60% of the votes; in Piedmont, Roberto Cota narrowly prevailed against incumbent regional president Mercedes Bresso from the Partito Democratico (Cota ruled until 2014). In the early regional elections on February 24 and 25, 2013, the Lega Nord and its top candidate Roberto Maroni were able to recapture the government of Lombardy. Since the regional elections in 2018, the party has again appointed Massimiliano Fedriga as the president of Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

region president in office since
Veneto Luca Zaia 2010
Lombardy Attilio Fontana 2018
Friuli Venezia Giulia Massimiliano Fedriga 2018

The 1997 Padan parliamentary elections

In 1997 the Lega Nord organized the “first elections for a Padan parliament”, in which, according to party information, 4.8 million northern Italians participated. The voters could choose between a large number of Padanian parties:



The Lega Nord was initially mainly active in northern Italy, but is now also politically active in the rest of Italy.

The regional associations of the Lega Nord are called Segreterie Nazionali . These are congruent with the respective regions (called “Nations” by the League), with the exception of Trentino and South Tyrol as well as Emilia and Romagna.


Since the Lega Nord wants to be the political home of all Italians striving for autonomy, there is consequently a multitude of different political currents within the party. Although there are no officially organized factions within the Lega, it is possible to identify different currents and wings in it:

Since the federalization of Italy and the independence of Padania remain the long-term goal of the Northern League, which is supported by all of its members, this explains the unity it has maintained over the years despite its ideological diversity.

Controversial statements


In its programmatic self-portrayal, the Lega Nord refers to ethnopluralism , similar to other right-wing parties in Europe (such as Vlaams Belang , Freedom Party of Austria ) . Characteristic of this view is Umberto Bossi's statement in June 2000 that, in his opinion, nothing can “eradicate the peoples and their differences”, “nor their cultures and characteristics that are the fruit of their interaction with their territory and food their territory produces and which they consume ”. Alain de Benoist , the mastermind behind the “ Nouvelle Droite ”, has written several leading articles for the party newspaper La Padania .

The Federal Agency for Civic Education comments on the Lega's reference to ethno-pluralistic concepts as follows: “In the Northern League, the term 'ethnic group rights' primarily refers to the rights of the residents of a relatively rich region, differentiating it from poorer regions as well as from 'foreigners'. "

There have been numerous openly racist statements by the party and leading members; it also led to criminal offenses.

  • In January 2001, the then mayor of Treviso, Giancarlo Gentilini, called for “metal wagons” for “captured illegal immigrants”, regardless of whether they were “muscular negroes” or “flower sellers with a strange olive complexion”. He also demanded literally "to disguise these useless immigrants as rabbits and to do pim pim pim with the guns".
  • The Trentino Erminio Boso called for the introduction of separate carriages for Italians and immigrants for rail traffic, because they "camp and sleep in the wagons without regard to the other passengers, and thus take the space away from the other travelers"
  • In an interview with the Corriere della Sera, Bossi said: "The navy and the Guardia di Finanza ( customs ) should shoot the immigrant boats that want to come to Italy illegally."
  • Umberto Bossi took the view in a radio interview that when awarding social housing in Milan, the "Lombards" (locals) should definitely be given preference over the "Bingo Bongos" (immigrants).
  • In February 2006, the Northern League politician Roberto Calderoli had T-shirts with the controversial Mohammed cartoons produced. After he proudly presented one of the T-shirts in a live interview on February 17, 2006, violent protests broke out in front of the Italian consulate in Libya, with eleven people killed in clashes with the police. His cabinet colleagues, especially Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi , urged him to resign, which he submitted on February 18, 2006. Following the scandal, the four European parliamentarians of the Northern League were expelled from the Europe-critical group Independence and Democracy .
  • On July 10, 2006, after the World Cup final, Roberto Calderoli insulted the French team as "a team without an identity". Italy had won against a team "that lost its own identity for the sake of results by setting up negroes, Muslims and communists," said the politician, who had previously made the headlines with his provocations. Italy, on the other hand, competed in Berlin with a team "made up of Lombards , Campanians , Venetians and Calabrese - a victory for our identity," said Calderoli.
  • In December 2007, the statement by Lega Nord politician Giorgio Bettio, City Councilor in Treviso, caused an international stir. He demanded that the methods of the SS should be used against foreigner crime, namely "for every native who harms foreigners, ten immigrants should be punished". The public prosecutor's office was investigating Bettio for sedition and apology for Nazism.

The French publicist Jean-Yves Camus, on the other hand, sees the Lega as a variant of “Alpine populism”, which, as the third wave of right-wing extremism - with the exception of its Austrian form (FPÖ) - is not associated with historical fascism and Nazism. The party has always clearly distanced itself from fascism. Partisans who glorify fascism or who have attracted attention with extreme right-wing gestures ( Roman salute ) have already been excluded several times. The aforementioned Giorgio Bettio is no longer a member of the party. After a council member had himself photographed with a Roman greeting in San Giovanni Bianco in the province of Bergamo , the mayor of the Lega Nord resigned and new elections had to be held. In addition, members of the Lega Nord have repeatedly emphasized their ties to the anti-fascist Resistance . The mayor of Vittorio Veneto said that “his father was a partisan and he was proud of it”.

Other statements

  • When a young woman waved the Italian flag at a rally in Venice in 1997, Umberto Bossi responded with the following words: "Il tricolore, signora, lo metta al cesso" (meaning: the tricolor, madam, you can throw in the toilet ). Bossi also said he ordered a load of toilet paper with the colors of the Italian flag.
  • In June 2005, a Lega Nord event called for the rape of Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio , the secretary of the Italian Greens and avowed bisexual.
  • Minister Roberto Calderoli unleashed a storm of indignation about the city of Naples and its inhabitants: “The sewer must be cleaned, and now that Naples has become a sewer, all mice must be eliminated, by any means, not just pretend to do something because the mice may also vote ”.
  • Giancarlo Gentilini said he would initiate an "ethnic cleansing of the fagots" to crack down on homosexuals who meet at night in a city car park.
  • Umberto Bossi commented on the possibility that the federalism reform will not overcome the parliamentary hurdles in the current legislative period: “We are not afraid to take the issue out in the squares. We have 300,000 martyrs ready to come down from the mountains. Our guns always smoke. "
  • In July 2008 at a party meeting in Padua, Bossi protested: “We must no longer be Rome's slaves”, as the national anthem says, and showed the middle finger. He further asserted: “We have to fight against this centralized cannal. Fifteen million men are ready to fight for freedom. We have to fight against this fascist state. ”The statement was also sharply criticized by its own coalition partners.
  • Then he railed against the alleged left indoctrination: “After 30 years of left schools, left exams, left teachers, left school administrators [...] our youth is disoriented”. Afterwards he complained: “And it cannot be that teachers come from all parts of Italy and take away the work of the northern Italian teachers. They want people to only talk about Pirandello and Sciascia and not about federalists like Carlo Cattaneo ”. Possibly an allusion to his son, who failed the high school examination for the second time.

Lawsuits and convictions

45 members of the party, including Umberto Bossi were 1996 for "endangering the Italian unit" appears . The proceedings were temporarily interrupted, resumed on February 7, 2006 and ultimately terminated. Parliament has now passed a law according to which the offense of endangering unity is only fulfilled if violent means were used, which was not the case in the given case.

Umberto Bossi was convicted in two different cases for his numerous statements about the Italian flag : In the first he was given probation, in the second he was sentenced by the Court of Cassation to a fine of 3,000 euros.

In 1993, EU parliamentarian Mario Borghezio was sentenced to a fine of 750,000 lire (the equivalent of 387.34 euros) for coercion: he had held a twelve-year-old illegally immigrated Moroccan by the arm to hand him over to the police. In July 2005 he was legally an imprisonment convicted of 2 months and 20 days, because he sleeping place some immigrants under a previously five years Turin had lit bridge. The fine was eventually converted into a fine of 3,040 euros.

On February 3, 2018, right-wing extremist Luca Traini, an unsuccessful local election candidate for the Lega Nord, shot and killed several people from Mali , Ghana , Nigeria and Gambia from a moving car during a racist attack in the city of Macerata , injuring six of them, one of them life-threatening . All of the injured survived the attack. Traini was sentenced to 12 years in prison, the Court of Appeal in Ancona confirmed conviction and penalty amount.

In August 2019, the Italian Supreme Court obliged the party to repay illegally received public funding of 50 million euros to the Italian state. In addition, Umberto Bossi was sentenced to one year and ten months in prison, the treasurer Francesco Belsito to three years and nine months.

Party media

The party had a daily newspaper, La Padania . This was discontinued on December 1, 2014. On the local television station Telecampione, some party-related programs with the TelePadania logo are broadcast daily .

Symbols of the party


Entries in reference books

  • Stephen E. Atkins: Encyclopedia of Modern Worldwide Extremists and Extremist Groups . Greenwood Press, Westport 2004, ISBN 0-313-32485-9 , pp. 229-230. (see: Northern League (Lega Nord) (Italy) )
  • Bernd Wagner (Hrsg.): Handbook for right-wing extremism: networks, parties, organizations, ideology centers, media (= rororo current . 13425). Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-499-13425-X , p. 236. (see: Lega Nord )


  • Roberto Biorcio: La Padania Promessa. La Storia, le idee e la logica d'azione della Lega Nord . Il Saggiatore, Milano 1997, ISBN 88-428-0456-8 .
  • Anna Centro Bull, Mark Gilbert: The Lega Nord and the Northern Question in Italian Politics . Palgrave, Basingstoke 2001, ISBN 0-333-75068-3 .
  • Thomas W. Gold: Lega Nord and Contemporary Politics in Italy (= Europe in Transition - The NYU European Studies Series ). Palgrave, Basingstoke 2003, ISBN 0-312-29631-2 .
  • Maurizio Tani, La funzione del dialetto nella creazione di identità nazionali. il caso della Lombardia e della Padania nella stampa leghista (1984–2009), University of Birmingham, 2016 http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/6807/

Contributions to edited volumes

  • Hans-Georg Betz : Against Rome: The Lega Nord. In: Hans-Georg Betz, Stefan Immerfall (Eds.): The new politics of the right. Neo-populist parties and movements in established democracies . St. Martin's Press, New York 1998, ISBN 0-312-21338-7 , pp. 45-57.
  • Roberto Biorgio: The Lega Nord and the Italian Media System. In: Gianpietro Mazzoleni, Julianne Stewart, Bruce Horsfield (Eds.): The Media and Neo-populism. A Contemporary Comparative Analysis . Praeger Publishers, Westport 2003, ISBN 0-275-97492-8 , pp. 71-94.
  • Michael Braun: The Lega Nord: From Prosperity Secessionism to Anti-Euro-Nationalism. In: Ernst Hillebrand (ed.): Right-wing populism in Europe: Danger for democracy? Dietz, Bonn 2015, ISBN 978-3-8012-0467-9 , p. 40 ff.
  • Georgia Bulli, Filippo Tronconi: Regionalism, Right-wing Extremism, Populism. The Elusive Nature of the Lega Nord. In: Andrea Mammone, Emmanuel Godin, Brian Jenkins (Eds.): Mapping the Extreme Right in Contemporary Europe. From local to transnational . Routledge, New York 2012, ISBN 978-0-415-50264-1 , pp. 78-92.
  • Giorgia Bulli, Filippo Tronconi: The Lega Nord. In: Anwen Elias, Filippo Tronconi (Ed.): From protest to power: autonomist parties and the challenges of representation . Braumüller, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-7003-1759-3 , p. 51 ff.
  • Aram Mattioli : honest men and arsonists. Observations on the ideology and political style of the Lega Nord. In: Alexander Häusler , Hans-Peter Killguss (ed.): The business with fear. Right-wing populism, hostility towards Muslims and the extreme right in Europe. Conference documentation (= contributions and materials from the information and education center against right-wing extremism . 6). NS Documentation Center of the City of Cologne , Cologne 2012, ISBN 978-3-938636-18-3 , pp. 73–85.
  • Marco Tarchi: Recalcitrant Allies. The Conflicting Foreign Policy Agenda of the Alleanza Nazionale and the Lega Nord. In: Christina Schorli Lang (Ed.): Europe for the Europeans. The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist . Ashgate Publishing, Hampshire 2007, ISBN 978-0-7546-4851-2 , pp. 187-208.

Web links

Commons : Lega Nord  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andrej Zaslove: Exclusion, Community, and a Populist Political Economy: The Radical Right as an Anti-Globalization Movement. Comparative European Politics (2008) 6, 169-189. doi: 10.1057 / palgrave.cep.6110126
  2. Record: 25 years of Lega Nord , in Corriere della Sera
  3. Pascal Oswald: A divided nation? - Reflections on the political past and present of Italy as reflected in the celebration of unification in 2011. In: www.risorgimento.info/beitraege4a.pdf, accessed on January 20, 2020, p. 4.
  4. ^ Hans-Gerd Jaschke : Right-wing extremism and xenophobia. Terms, positions, fields of practice . Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3-531-32679-1 , p. 10.
  5. Frank Decker : The new right-wing populism. 2nd Edition. Opladen 2004, ISBN 3-8100-3936-5 , p. 15.
  6. Steffen Kailitz : The ideological profile of the right (and left) wing parties in the Western European democracies - a discussion of Herbert Kitscheit's theses. In: Uwe Backes , Eckhard Jesse (Hrsg.): Danger to freedom. extremist ideologies in comparison (= Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism: Writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism . Volume 29). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 3-525-36905-0 , p. 289.
  7. ^ Günther Pallaver , Reinhold Gärtner: Populist parties in government - doomed to failure? Italy and Austria in comparison. In: Frank Decker (Ed.): Populism. Danger to Democracy or Useful Corrective? VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14537-1 , p. 99.
  8. Tim Spier : Loser of modernization? The electorate of right-wing populist parties in Western Europe . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17699-4 , p. 44.
  9. Karin Priester : Fluid boundaries between right-wing extremism and right-wing populism in Europe? . In: From Politics and Contemporary History . 44/2010.
  10. ^ Stefan Köppl: Extremism in Italy. In: Eckhard Jesse , Tom Thieme (ed.): Extremism in the EU countries . VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17065-7 , p. 205.
  11. ^ Oskar Niedermayer : The German party system in an international comparison . Parties in Germany , Federal Agency for Civic Education , February 19, 2015.
  12. Michael Kaeding , Niko Switek : European elections 2014. Top candidates, protest parties, non-voters. In the S. (Ed.): The European elections 2014. Spitzenkandidaten, protest parties, non-voters . Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-658-05737-4 , p. 19.
  13. Eckhard Jesse , Tom Thieme : Extremism in the EU countries in comparison. In: Eckhard Jesse , Tom Thieme (ed.): Extremism in the EU countries . VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17065-7 , p. 459.
  14. Eckhard Jesse , Tom Thieme : Extremism in the EU states. Theoretical and conceptual foundations. In: Eckhard Jesse , Tom Thieme (ed.): Extremism in the EU countries . VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17065-7 , p. 28.
  15. ^ Michael Minkenberg : Right-wing radicalism / right-wing extremism. In: Dieter Nohlen , Florian Grotz (eds.): Small Lexicon of Politics (= Beck'sche series . 1418). 5th edition, Beck Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-60411-9 , p. 512.
  16. ^ Emanuel Richter : The republican Europe. Aspects of a catching up civilization . Leske + Budrich, Opladen 1999, ISBN 3-8100-2576-3 , p. 104.
  17. ^ Günther Pallaver , Reinhold Gärtner: Populist parties in government - doomed to failure? Italy and Austria in comparison. In: Frank Decker (Ed.): Populism. Danger to Democracy or Useful Corrective? VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14537-1 , p. 113.
  18. ^ Patrick Moreau : The Victorious Parties - Unity in Diversity. In: Uwe Backes , Patrick Moreau (eds.): The extreme right in Europe. Current trends and perspectives (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research . Volume 46). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen u. a. 2012, ISBN 978-3-525-36922-7 , p. 117.
  19. ^ Richard Stöss : Right-wing extremist parties in Western Europe. In: Oskar Niedermayer , Richard Stöss, Melanie Haas (eds.): The party systems of Western Europe . VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2006, ISBN 3-531-14111-2 , p. 528.
  20. ^ Jean-Yves Camus : Currents of the European Extreme Right - Populists, Integrists, National Revolutionaries, New Right. In: Uwe Backes (ed.): Right-wing extremist ideologies in past and present (= writings of the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarian Research . Volume 23). Böhlau, Cologne a. a. 2003, ISBN 3-412-03703-6 , p. 236.
  21. Laurent Kestel , Laurent Godmer : Institutional inclusion and exclusion of extreme right wing parties. In: Roger Eatwell , Cas Mudde (Ed.): Western Democracies and the New Extreme Right . Routledge, London 2004, ISBN 0-415-36971-1 , p. 147.
  22. ^ Duncan McDonnell: A Weekend in Padania. Regionalist Populism and the Lega Nord. In: Politics. Volume 26, No. 2, April 2006, pp. 126-132, doi: 10.1111 / j.1467-9256.2006.00259.x , at pp. 126-127.
  23. Marco Tarchi: Recalcitrant Allies. The Conflicting Foreign Policy Agenda of the Alleanza Nazionale and the Lega Nord. In: Europe for the Europeans. Ashgate, Aldershot (Hampshire) / Burlington VT 2007, ISBN 978-0-7546-4851-2 , pp. 187-208, on p. 187.
  24. Die Beute der Populisten, Sueddeutsche.de ( Memento of the original from September 16, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.sueddeutsche.de
  25. Italy's asylum policy under fire: intercepted and deported ( memento from June 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), tagesschau.de, June 20, 2010.
  26. ^ Corriere della Sera, 'More boats pushed back. Criticism from the Bishops 'Conference' archiviostorico.corriere.it
  27. dw-world.de
  28. The miracle of Treviso: In the Lega Hochburg the best integrated migrants , in La Repubblica
  29. ^ Migrants, well integrated in Veneto, but also in Marche and Emilia-Romagna , La Repubblica, March 22, 2006.
  30. Interview with Sandy Cane, Mayoress, black, of the Lega Nord La Repubblica, June 10, 2009.
  31. See for example: Claudia Cippitelli, Axel Schwanebeck: The new seducers? Munich 2004, p. 47; Federal Agency for Civic Education: bpb.de or daily newspaper: taz.de
  32. a b c d e Giovanni Savino: The Italian Russophile Rightist Parties: a New Love for Moscow? In: Russian Analytical Digest No. 167, May 2015, pp. 8-11.
  33. ^ A b Andrea Mammone: Rome in black (shirt): far-right alliances in recent italy . In Giorgos Charalambous (Ed.): The European Far Right: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives . PROP Cyprus Center, report 2/2015, p. 33.
  34. Mitchell A. Orenstein: Putin's Western Allies . In: Foreign Affairs , March 26, 2014.
  35. Invitation from Russia: Europe's right-wing populists are supposed to observe the Crimean referendum . In: Spiegel Online , March 12, 2014.
  36. ^ Benjamin Bidder: Populist Network in Europe: Russia's Right-Wing Friends . In: Spiegel Online , February 4, 2016.
  37. Andrea Mammone: Why Vladimir Putin is a hero to some in Western Europe, too . In: Reuters , December 31, 2014.
  38. ^ Max Seddon and James Politi: Putin's party signs deal with Italy's far-right Lega Nord . In: Financial Times , March 6, 2017.
  39. ^ Friedrich Schmidt and Jörg Bremer: Cooperation with Kremlin Party: Italian Begging Tour in Russia . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , March 10, 2017.
  40. Lega Nord denies rumors about Putin financing . In: Südtirol Online , January 11, 2018.
  41. Paolo Rumiz: L'Europa profonda che odia l'America (German "The deep Europe that America hates"). In: La Repubblica , April 11, 1999.
  42. Italian Senate: election results, pp. 19 and 55 (PDF; 816 kB)
  43. Pascal Oswald: A divided nation? - Reflections on the political past and present of Italy as reflected in the celebration of unification in 2011. In: www.risorgimento.info/beitraege4a.pdf, accessed on January 20, 2020, p. 3 f.
  44. ^ Corruption scandal: Lega Nord boss Bossi resigns , Die Presse , April 5, 2012.
  45. Umberto Bossi stumbles over financial scandal , Der Standard , April 5, 2012.
  46. New leadership of Lega Nord Where the parks still have benches , FAZ , July 3, 2012.
  47. ndr.de
  48. Russian money for Salvini's Lega? Investigation initiated. July 12, 2019, accessed August 8, 2019 .
  49. Revealed: The Explosive Secret Recording That Shows How Russia Tried To Funnel Millions To The “European Trump”. July 10, 2019, accessed August 8, 2019 .
  50. Will Italy have an "Ibiza Affair" soon? Salvini denies alleged Russian deal. July 11, 2019, accessed August 8, 2019 .
  51. First interrogations on alleged money from Moscow for Italy's Lega. July 15, 2019, accessed August 8, 2019 .
  52. ^ Italian MPs demand answers over claims Salvini's League sought Kremlin funding. February 22, 2019, accessed September 8, 2019 .
  53. a b Salvini party has to repay almost 50 million euros. August 7, 2019, accessed August 8, 2019 .
  54. ^ Deputy Prime Minister Salvini calls for new elections in Italy. August 8, 2019, accessed September 8, 2019 .
  55. United Russia party signs cooperation agreement with Italy's Lega Nord. In: Russia Today. March 7, 2017, accessed September 29, 2017 .
  56. ^ Ministero dell'Interno: election results 2013. politiche e regionali del 24 e 25 Febbraio. February 26, 2013, archived from the original on April 13, 2013 ; Retrieved February 26, 2013 (Italian). , except Aosta Valley and Trentino-South Tyrol
  57. There are no general regional elections in Trentino-South Tyrol; instead, the provincial parliaments of Trentino and South Tyrol, which together form the regional council, are determined in separate ballots. The figures given indicate the proportion of votes accounted for by the LN in both provinces.
  58. a b c d as Lega Italia Federale
  59. The LN competed together with the Stella Alpina .
  60. The personal list of the LN top candidate, Roberto Maroni , received another 10.2%.
  61. The personal list of the LN top candidate, Luca Zaia , received another 23.1%.
  62. ^ As Noi con Salvini
  63. ^ As Noi con Salvini together with Fratelli d'Italia
  64. The LN competed together with Forza Italia .
  65. CRONISTORIA DELLA LEGA NORD. (PDF) Lega Nord Padania, archived from the original on May 25, 2010 ; Retrieved May 24, 2010 (Italian).
  66. Regional associations of the Lega Nord ( Memento of the original from June 12, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / leganord.org
  67. ^ Federal Agency for Civic Education: Italy's Racist Fanatics - Right-Wing Extremism. Bpb.de, accessed on May 24, 2010 .
  68. See e.g. B. Federal Agency for Civic Education; bpb.de
  69. Analytical study on discrimination and racist violence in Italy: 2000–2002, p. 20. (PDF; 253 kB)
  70. ^ La Repubblica, January 17, 2003
  71. ^ Corriere della Sera, June 16, 2003
  72. La Repubblica, December 4, 2003
  73. ^ "Con gli immigrati come le SS" Bettio si scusa e lascia la politica | la tribuna di Treviso. (No longer available online.) Tribunatreviso.gelocal.it, formerly in the original ; Retrieved May 24, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / tribunatreviso.gelocal.it  
  74. http://www.cestim.it/argomenti/09razzismo/09razzismo_destra.htm or here: http://italy.indymedia.org/news/2005/11/928570.php?theme=2 ( memento of the original from 3 June 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / italy.indymedia.org
  75. Michel Huysseune: Modernità e secession. Le scienze sociali e il discorso politico della Lega Nord. Rome: Carocci 2004, p. 197.
  76. Province of Bergamo, municipal committee falls because of Facebook: City council member portrayed with a Roman greeting , Corriere della Sera, April 27, 2010.
  77. The resistance in the DNS of the Lega Nord ( Memento of the original of December 29, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. varesenews, April 21, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www3.varesenews.it
  78. ^ Partisan Lega Nord, War of April 25 , Corriere del Veneto, April 24, 2010.
  79. ^ La Repubblica, September 15, 2008
  80. ^ La Repubblica, November 1, 2006
  81. ^ Die Presse, August 9, 2007
  82. ^ La Repubblica, April 29, 2008
  83. ^ Italy: Reform Minister Bossi shows Rome the middle finger Die Presse July 21, 2008.
  84. La Stampa, July 21, 2008 ( Memento of July 31, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  85. ^ Corriere della Sera, July 20, 2008
  86. ^ Corriere della Sera, June 23, 1993
  87. ↑ The attacker fires at people from a moving car. Time online from February 3, 2018
  88. Tassilo Forchheimer and Till Erdtracht: right-wing extremist after shooting at Africans in custody. Bayerischer Rundfunk from February 4, 2018
  89. Luca Traini, confermati 12 anni di carcere in appello: ferì 6 stranieri a Macerata dopo l'omicidio di Pamela Mastropietro. Il Fatto Quotidiano on October 2, 2019