27/02/13 21:05 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
Confirmation that Italy’s Northern League has won the governorship of the economic powerhouse of Lombardy has set it up for a renewed power struggle with Rome and Brussels.
Despite winning under four per cent of the vote in the national election, in the separate regional vote Roberto Maroni beat off the centre-left to win with almost 43 per cent support.
The Northern League’s leader lost no time in setting out his agenda. “Our programme is to build up a Northern macro-region able to deal with Rome in order to get everything we want,” he said.
The Northern League’s victory in Lombardy means the party will control all the biggest northern regions, including Piedmont and Veneto.
They alone produce almost 60 per cent of Italy’s wealth. Traditionally eurosceptic, the League is now looking to take advantage of the EU’s own development plan to spread its influence beyond national borders.
“There is a European project to build up a euro-region around the Alps and the Padan Plain (Po Valley),” Maroni says. “It already includes four Italian regions, Slovenia, (the Austrian state of) Carinthia, Switzerland and a French region. This is the euro-region model I want to take shape, emanating from northern Italy.”
The Northern League’s success in the country’s wealthiest and most populous region is a boost for its aspiration to break away from Italy – and for its electoral ally Silvio Berlusconi.
- 1Cuts in EU mobile roaming charges come into effect
- 2Belgium gives everyone radiation protection pills
- 3Madeleine Albright on evil, Putin, Trump, Syria and diplomatic kisses
- 4Hundreds arrested as German anti-immigrant AfD party congress begins
- 5Sweden celebrates 70th birthday of King Carl XVI Gustaf
Wires > News
- 14:41 CET Anti-immigrant AfD says Muslims not welcome in Germany
- 14:35 CET Islamic State suicide attacks kill 32 in southern Iraq
- 14:02 CET Sturgeon says Scottish independence vote likely if she wins…
- 13:48 CET Russia – talks taking place on including Aleppo in Syria’s ‘regime…
- 12:43 CET Brussels airport departure hall reopens after deadly bombings
- 12:23 CET U.S.-led coalition drone kills two at Islamic State depot in…
- 12:05 CET Irish fin min likely to retain post in new government – source
- 11:47 CET EU set to drive forward visas for Turks in migrant deal