Italian election: Anti-EU Lega Nord leader predicts victory over former PM Berlusconi

February 11, 2018
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Matteo Salvini forecast the heavily eurosceptic Lega – formerly known as the Northern League – along with Mr Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party will receive enough votes to govern without the need for a second ballot.

The two parties are the major players in the centre-right coalition, which looks likely to win to victory on March 4.

Recent polls show a steady increase in support for Lega and Mr Salvini, whose policies include much stricter controls on immigration and tax reform. 

He has also talked about his aversion towards a federal Europe and discussed ditching the euro, which he has branded a “German currency”. 

Mr Salvini’s support is especially strong in regions in the north of Italy, and  despite the late surge in the polls, FI is expected to win more votes.

But in an interview with Italy’s Radio 24 network, Mr Slavini said: ”I believe Lega will get more votes than Forza Italia. Italians will be the ones deciding in the elections.

“The centre-right coalition will surpass 40 per cent and we will not need to ask for help in parliament, but if there is no majority, it is absolutely necessary to vote again.

“Within the centre-right coalition, Lega only needs 0.1 per cent more than Forza Italia, which means that our consistency has been rewarded.”

Mr Slavini also revelled his plans for a “robot tax” which he said is aimed at slowing the mechanisation of the Italian labour market.

He said: “I do not want to stop progress, but there are, according to estimates, three million jobs at risk.

“Robots must be a help to human effort, not a replacement of human beings. 

“Otherwise in thirty years in Italy we will only have restaurants, radios and not much more.”

The FI and Lega have agreed if their alliance wins the election, whichever party receives a bigger share of the vote will pick the prime minister and steer the policy agenda.

Four-time former PM Mr Berlusconi is banned from holding office because of a 2013 conviction for tax fraud, and he has yet to put forward a candidate for PM if his party wins. 

Mr Slavini has said he will take power if his party comes first.

A poll of 1,000 voters on February 8 by SWG showed the centre-right coalition, in the lead with an estimated 35.6 per cent. 

The incumbent centre-left coalition, led by Paolo Gentiloni’s Democratic Party, polled second with with 28.2 per cent.

The anti establishment 5Star Movement came in a close third with a predicted 28 per cent of the vote, but they have previously ruled entering any coalition. 



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