The victories of the extreme right are always worrying, even more so if they happen in our political context (Europe). For many reasons, one of which is because of the chauvinist, Jacobinist and centralist position of the extreme Right in Europe, which shows no respect for the nations that are contained within their State. The political parties of Marie Le Pen, Santiago Abascal or Giorgia Meloni are nostalgic for the imperial past of France, Spain or Italy and want a uniform State with a single national identity. Therefore, the linguistic or national diversity of the State is an uncomfortable reality that goes against its wishes, a reality that it needs to eliminate.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the victory of Giorgia Meloni in the Italian elections is sad news for the nations under Italian rule (Sud-Tirol, Sardinia, Aosta Valley…). Because Meloni has on more than one occasion praised the memory of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, who carried out all kinds of atrocities, especially in South Tyrol and Aosta Valley (prohibition of native languages, changes in toponymy, sending of thousands of Italian settlers to those territories, in order to weaken their languages and their cultures, etc.).
“Meloni has a special hatred for South Tyrol,” says Cristian Kollman, a member of the leadership of the pro-independence party Süd-Tiroler Freiheit. “She has said, among other things, that the South Tyroleans who do not like Italy should be forced to emigrate to Austria and also that the Italians who live in South Tyrol need greater protection, because they constitute a minority“. And he adds: “She has praised Mussolini and represents the fascist ideology very well”
As usual, the nationalist party SVP (Südtiroler Volkspartei) won the Italian elections in the Sud-Tirol. This territory, of Germanic language and culture but under Italian rule, was once again the exception on the political map, being the only territory where a non-Italian political party has won. The pro-independence political parties, which are highly critical of the SVP, have not run in these elections.
“Meloni represents Italian centralism, and she sees only a single nation here. She will govern through the roles of the prefects, and she will not tolerate any pro-independence talk,” said Maurizio Onnis, president of the Sardinian pro-independence organization Corona de Logu, to NAZIOGINTZA. He does not believe that Meloni will curtail Sardinia’s autonomy: “The biggest enemies of Sardinia’s autonomy are the local politicians, who do very little to develop it; the Italian Government cannot diminish our autonomy, because we ourselves have not developed it,” he tells us. The pro-independence political parties of Sardinia have not presented themselves in these Italian elections.
In addition to South Tyrol and Sardinia, Aosta Valley is another of the Italian territories that has a “special political status”, a territory whose native languages are French and Franco-Provençal. There, the autonomous-progressive coalition led by the nationalist Union Valdotâine party won the elections to the Chamber. The independence party PAS did not run in the elections but achieved great success by presenting a manifesto calling among other things for the right of self-determination, a manifesto that was also signed by candidates from other local political parties.
The journalist from Aosta and secretary of the “Collège universitaire d’etudes fédéralistes” organization, Etienne Andrione, does not expect anything good from Meloni. “Meloni has often been very explicit about the necessity of doing something about the “un-Italian” differences. However, I don’t think that she limits our autonomy at least in the short term, except perhaps on the financial side. Further on up on the road…,” says Andrione. “The Aosta Valley is the weakest among the Italian special status territories and therefore the easiest to attack,” he adds. “Despite being Francophone, France will not help if Meloni cuts its autonomy; if she threatened the rights of the Germanic inhabitants of South Tyrol, however, it would spark an international row” (it should be remembered that Austria has always defended the national rights of South Tyroleans)
Good times are not coming for the nations under Italian rule. A president nostalgic for Mussolini will lead the country. Will she repeat what that fascist did against small nations? Local independence movements are not feeling optimistic …….