“We have opened the square to all Italians of good will,” he said. “Then, obviously, it’s the League that organises it and who decides who speaks on the stage”.
“This (accusation) of a Fascist rally makes everyone laugh and no one believes it any more,” Salvini said adding that “at least 100 000 Italians” will attend the rally.
The main attendees and speakers will be from the League, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (FI) party and the Brothers of Italy (FdI) party.
Salvini has appropriated Rome’s traditional leftist stomping ground, Piazza San Giovanni, for the event.
The League leader called the rally after his bid for a snap election failed and his coalition partners, the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), pulled the plug on the 14-month government.
The M5S has since teamed up with its traditional enemies, the Democratic Party (PD) to form Premier Giuseppe Conte’s second executive.
The M5S-PD government has run into early trouble over the 2020 budget but the measure is expected to be passed despite continued bickering.
If Italians were to vote today, the League would be the top party with 31,8 percent, while trust in Salvini is at 39 percent. The PD and M5S remain below 20 percent as the League of Matteo Salvini continues to gather support.
According to the latest survey done by EMG Acqua, the PD would get 19,7 percent and the M5S would get 19,2 percent, while the rightwing Fratelli d’Italia is still growing. Giorgia Meloni’s party is now at 7,8 percent, followed by Forza Italia with 7,1 percent.
At the end of the survey presented during the programme Agora on public broadcaster RAI, the newborn party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi , Italia Viva, was only at 4,1 percent.
Renzi recently said that 30 000 migrant landings in Italy would not be a problem. On Twitter, Salvini responded by saying: “Congratulations to the government of the open ports … Complicated and dangerous!”
30MILA sbarchi in Italia? Per Renzi NON sono un problema.
Complimenti al governo dei porti aperti… Complici e pericolosi! pic.twitter.com/DFfo6cpHQj
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) October 17, 2019
Thus Salvini continues with the highest rating of confidence among Italians. Also according to the EMG Acqua poll, the leader of the League has 39 percent of the voters on his side while behind him is Premier Giuseppe Conte with 35 percent, down by one point compared to the previous survey.
Italians also rewarded Giorgia Meloni with 29 percent. The conservatives are ahead of the two leaders of the current Giallorossi government, Luigi Di Maio at 25 percent and Nicola Zingaretti who failed to break through, with 24 percent.
In a long interview published this week by French weekly Le Point, Salvini dismissed the notion of a return to fascism with the large demonstration in Rome on October 19. His opponents have compared it to Mussolini’s “March on Rome”.
“The event I’m organizing on October 19th is not a march! And besides, I don’t like sports [he smiles]. We will fill a square in Rome, San Giovanni, where the left is often found. It is also known as a concert venue.”
He added: “Fascism, like communism, is a dead idea. These are phenomena to be studied, but neither of them will return. […] We are in 2019, fascism and communism have been dead for years.”
The League has meanwhile been confirmed as the top party and its leader enjoys great confidence as North Africans continue to flood onto the Italian island of Lampedusa, or waiting on the Libyan shore for passage across the Mediterranean.
Smugglers as well as illegal migrants have all heard that Matteo Salvini is no longer the Interior Minister, so they expect that they will be allowed to land in Italy and then be processed expeditiously so they can travel to their new homes in Europe.
One of the immigrants waiting to depart for Lampedusa from the Libyan coast was waiting in the shed of a human trafficker from Zuwara, Libya.
“All the embarkations that depart this month for Italy will arrive,” a trafficker noted on his Facebook page. More than 2 000 illegals have arrived in Italy in the month of September alone since a policy less hostile than that of the ex-Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini has been implemented.
Zouel, a Tunisian, will be making his second trip to Italy. A few days after his arrival at Lampedusa, he tells reporters he was repatriated to Tunisia.
“Because during that period, there was Salvini. But now Salvini is no longer Minister of the Interior. Now I know he is no longer there. I’m also happy. Now there is a new government in Italy,” he says.
When asked if people in Tunisia know about the change in government in Italy, he says: “Of course. And of course, more are leaving every day. Every day. Yesterday, I heard two other boats left at one, at one in the night.”