(Northern League, Italy)
An alliance of northern Italian regional parties. Against the background of Italy's regional disparity in social and economic terms, its appeal is based on northern resentment against the redistribution of welfare and taxation from the prosperous north to the poor south. On 15 September 1996, the president of the Lega Nord, Umberto Bossi, proclaimed the ‘Republic of Padania’, with the aim of creating a rival state in Italy north of the River Po, complete with a separate government and administration. Although this was only supported by a minority, Bossi hoped to attract more support as the government failed to resolve its financial crisis on account of the insolvent south. A junior partner to Forza Italia in the House of Liberties coalition, the Lega Nord joined Berlusconi's government (2001–6).
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).