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Anger over plans for Italy’s Salvini to speak at events in the UK

British anti-fascist groups have planned a "Sardines"-style protest in Liverpool after events were organised in the name of Italian far-right League leader Matteo Salvini.

Anger over plans for Italy's Salvini to speak at events in the UK
ItalianItalian League party leader Matteo Salvini. Photo: AFP

The protests have been organised amid concern that populist Salvini is planning to speak at venues in Liverpool and London this spring, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Tickets are on sale at £28 (€33) a head for what appears to be a dinner event being hosted by Lega nel Mondo, an international network established by Salvini in 2018.

Advertisements suggest Salvini will be speaking at as-yet undisclosed venues in the UK and Ireland in March and April.

A screenshot of one UK event being advertised online.

Leader of the right-wing League party and Italy’s former deputy prime minister, Salvini frequently grabs headlines in Italy and abroad with his anti-immigrant outbursts, controversial publicity stunts, and divisive “Italians first” rhetoric.

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The event website is very vague, and invites supporters of the Italian politician to email for further information.

Lega nel Mondo had not responded to requests for comment at the time of writing.

In Liverpool, anti-racism groups quickly responded by organising a peaceful protest which, the Echo reports, will take inspiration from the 'Sardine' movement that has recently sprung up in Italy to protest the politics of Salvini and other right-wing figures in the country.

READ ALSO: 'Enough hate': Who are the protesting 'Sardines' packing into Italian squares?

The protest movement began as a flash mob protest in Bologna in November, at which organisers said people would be “packed like sardines” into the city's main piazza.

A “sardines” protest against Matteo Salvini and the League party in the Italian city of Florence in December. Photo: AFP

The anti-Salvini protest in Liverpool is being organised by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Stand Up to Racism and is being supported by Labour politicians and other groups.

A spokesperson for UAF stated: “No venue in Liverpool should host such a person as Salvini. Liverpool of course is a proudly, multicultural city with great anti fascist traditions.”

Salvini has been he subject of five criminal investigations within the past two years. He is currently the subject of one ongoing trial and numerous lawsuits.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Salvini is now also to stand trial on charges of illegally detaining migrants at sea, after senators upheld a vote by the lower house to strip him of his parliamentary immunity. If found guilty in this case, Salvini could face prison.

READ ALSO: More than half of Italians think racist attacks 'can be justified', poll finds

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POLITICS

Italy plans to stop ‘revolving door’ between judges and politicians

Italian lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a planned reform aimed at stopping the 'revolving door' between justice and government, as part of wider changes to the country's creaking judicial system.

Italy plans to stop 'revolving door' between judges and politicians

The proposed reform, which still has to be approved by the Italian Senate in the coming weeks, imposes significant limitations on the number of magistrates, prosecutors and judges looking to go into politics – a frequent move in Italy.

Under the submitted changes, a magistrate wishing to stand for election, whether national, regional or local, will not be able to do so in the region where they have worked over the previous three years.

At the end of their mandate, magistrates who have held elective positions will not be able to return to the judiciary – they will be moved to non-jurisdictional posts at, for example, the Court of Auditors or the Supreme Court of Cassation, according to local media reports.

Furthermore, magistrates who have applied for elective positions but have not been successful for at least three years will no longer be able to work in the region where they ran for office. 

The reform is part of a wider programme of changes to Italy’s tortuous judicial system. This is required by the European Commission to unlock billions of euros in the form of post-pandemic recovery funds.

Public perception of the independence of Italian courts and judges is among the worst in Europe, according to the EU’s justice scoreboard.

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