Italian xenophobes’ financial scandal

This video from 2011 in Italy, when Bossi’s party was still in Berlusconi’s government, says about itself:

I’ve posted this just to add subtitles so that non-Italian speakers can see the nature of the man who Berlusconi depends on to keep his government in place. This is the true scandal behind the more colourful of image of Berlusconi’s antics, a racist, anti-immigrant party with policies at least as bad as the BNP.

From the BBC:

5 April 2012 Last updated at 16:45 GMT

Italian Northern League leader Umberto Bossi resigns

Leading Italian populist politician

“Populist” as a label for politicians like in Bossi’s Lega Nord, Wilders’ PVV in the Netherlands, and blame-Johnny-Foreigner puppets in the Bahraini absolute monarchy’s mock parliament, is an euphemism. They should rather be called far right, xenophobic, in some cases racist.

Populism is, historically, a small farmers’ movement in the USA in the 1890s. Certainly when it started, it was not Rightist or racist, but against big business etc. Calling someone like Bossi “populist” is inaccurate.

Umberto Bossi has resigned as head of the Northern League after a financial scandal engulfed the party.

The Northern League is the only party in opposition to the current technocratic government led by Prime Minister Mario Monti.

A former party treasurer is suspected of misusing funds.

Mr Bossi, known as a fierce critic of corruption in public life, denies any wrongdoing himself.

Northern League treasurer Francesco Belsito resigned on Tuesday after prosecutors alleged he had used party funds to pay for, among other things, the remodelling of Mr Bossi’s villa and holidays for the leader’s children.

There was no immediate comment from the former treasurer on the accusations laid against him.

News of Mr Bossi’s resignation gradually emerged on Thursday, with no comment from the leader himself.

The scandal has been all the more embarrassing for him because he has always been bitterly contemptuous of the corruption that plagues so much of Italian public life, the BBC’s Alan Johnston reports from Rome.

See also here.

Italy: The Monti government and the crisis of the Northern League: here.

An Italian contemporary art museum has started burning paintings from its permanent collection as part of a protest campaign against the government’s purported lack of support for the cultural sector: here.