25 Facts About Lega Nord


At the 1987 general election, another regional party, Lega Nord Lombarda gained national prominence when its leader Umberto Bossi was elected to the Senate.

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Lega Nord, which was first launched as an upgrade of Alleanza Nord in December 1989, was officially transformed into a party in February 1991 through the merger of various regional parties, notably including Lega Lombarda and Liga Veneta.

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Between 1995 and 1998, Lega Nord joined centre-left governing coalitions in many local contexts, notably including the Province of Padua to the city of Udine.

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However, after the 1996 election, which Lega Nord had fought outside the two big coalitions, the differences between those who supported a new alliance with Berlusconi and those who preferred to enter Romano Prodi's Olive Tree re-emerged.

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One year later, Lega Nord was part of Berlusconi's House of Freedoms in the 2001 general election.

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The alliance that Lega Nord forged with the Movement for Autonomy and the Sardinian Action Party for the 2006 general election was not successful in convincing Southern voters to approve the reform, which was rejected in the 2006 constitutional referendum.

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Lega Nord ran the election in coalition with the PdL and the MpA, gaining a stunning 8.

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Lega Nord influenced the government on illegal immigration, especially when dealing with immigrants coming from the sea.

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Lega Nord's election was ratified a week later by the party's federal congress in Turin.

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In 2008, Umberto Bossi explained in an interview that Lega Nord is "libertarian, but socialist" and that the right-wing ideology he prefers is an anti-statist one with a "libertarian idea of a state which does not weigh on citizens".

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Lega Nord's political culture was a mix of northern Italian pride or even Padanian nationalism, often with claims of a proud Celtic heritage; resentment of perceived southern Italian habits and Roman authorities; distrust of the Republic of Italy and especially its flag; and some support for the free market, anti-statism, anti-globalism and separatism or secessionism.

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Lega Nord has some ties with the Ticino League from Switzerland.

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Lega Nord aims at uniting all those northern Italians who support autonomy and federalism for their land.

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Lega Nord is populist in the sense that it is an anti-monopolist and anti-elitist popular and participative party, fighting against the "vested interests", once identified by Bossi in "Agnelli, the Pope and the Mafia".

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Lega Nord, which has a strong agricultural wing, supports the protection of traditional food, opposes GMOs and has campaigned for a revision of the quota system of the Common Agricultural Policy.

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Exact program of Lega Nord was not clear in the early years as some opponents claimed it wanted secession of Padania while at other times it appeared to be requesting only autonomy for Northern regions.

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Lega Nord often criticises the European Union and opposes what it calls the "European superstate", favoring instead a "Europe of the Regions".

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Lega Nord rejects all charges of xenophobia, instead claiming that the North is the victim of discrimination and racism.

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Lega Nord was originally a member of the European Free Alliance and its first two MEPs, Francesco Speroni and Luigi Moretti, joined the Rainbow Group in the European Parliament during the fourth parliamentary term .

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Outside of its European parliamentary group, Lega Nord has contacts with the Spanish Vox, the Dutch Forum for Democracy, the Sweden Democrats, the Hungarian Fidesz, and the Polish Law and Justice party.

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Wing from the province of Varese and more broadly the bulk of the original Lega Nord Lombarda has tended to be the left-wing of the party while that from the province of Bergamo has tended to be more conservative.

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Lega Nord Lombarda included liberal-conservative figures such as Gianfranco Miglio and Vito Gnutti, both former Christian Democrats, while Giovanni Meo Zilio, a Socialist partisan during the Italian Resistance, was one of the founding fathers of Liga Veneta.

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In October 1997, Lega Nord organised what it called "the first elections to the Padanian Parliament".

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Support for Lega Nord is diverse even within Padania and has varied over time, reaching an early maximum of 10.

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Lega Nord is stronger in the areas of the late Republic of Venice and among Catholics.

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