Steve Bannon in Rome to 'support far-right candidate' in Italian election

Posted by On 11:40 AM

Steve Bannon in Rome to 'support far-right candidate' in Italian election

Italy Steve Bannon in Rome to 'support far-right candidate' in Italian election

Matteo Salvini of La Lega is winning support with anti-immigation and anti-EU rhetoric

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon is said to believe Italy’s election could pave the way for new populist movements to fight the influence of the EU. Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Steve Bannon is heading to Rome on Thursday, days ahead of the Italian election, and has reportedly hinted of his support for the far-right candidate Matteo Salvini.

A meeting between the head of La Lega and the former White House strategist has not been planned, but Bannon has said he is heading to the Italian capital because he is intriguedby the election and believes it has major implications for Europe.

Why the Italian left looks doomed in this weekend’s elections | James Newell Read more

The news was first reported by the Italian daily newspaper La Stampa, and confirmed to the Guardian by a senior lawmaker with Salvini’s party, and personal friend of Bannon’s based in Rome.

According to La Stampa’s report, which did not name sources, Bannon has suggested the 4 March election could mark a new path in Europe and open the way to new populist movements to fight the influence of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in and the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

Bannon is not new to European politics. He is close to Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, who has credited him with boosting the successful campaign for Britain to leave the EU, in part because of the supp ort of Breitbart news which has an office in the UK.

His brand of economic and anti-migrant populism is gaining momentum across Europe, including in Italy. Salvini, who runs La Lega, previously known as the Northern League, has the support of about 13% of the Italian electorate, driven largely by his anti-migrant and anti-EU “Italians First” campaign.

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Matteo Salvini on the campaign trail. Photograph: Nicola Marfisi/AGF/REX/Shutterstock

Traditional politics is not likely to be Bannon’s only interest in Italy. He is also a Catholic with ties to conservatives in the Vatican, including the AUS cardinal Raymond Burke, who has emerged as Pope Francis†™s staunchest internal critic.

Burke met Salvini a year ago, in an encounter seen as a sign of the deep divisions within the church. Pope Francis has steadfastly called for migrants to be welcomed and supported, and many of his supporters in the US have spoken out against some of Donald Trump’s policies against migrants.

Italy's Northern League pledges mass migrant deportations Read more

Bannon’s trip to Rome follows a tumultuous period for the former head of Breitbart. Lawyers for the US president threatened legal action against him in January following the publication of Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, which quoted Bannon and made explosive allegations about the inner workings of the Oval Office.

Bannon stepped down from his role at Breitbart soon after the book was published and said he regretted the comments he made in the book. He accused Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr, of conducting a treasonous meeting with Russian officials.

Trump, who had earlier dismissed Bannon from his job as senior strategist, said Bannon had lost his mind.

Topics
  • Italy
  • Steve Bannon
  • Europe
  • The far right
  • news
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Source: Google News Italy | Netizen 24 Italy

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