NAPLES RIOTS: Furious clashes in Italian city as police fire TEAR GAS at protesters

Saturday, March 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

POLICE clashed with rioters in Naples this afternoon during a furious protest against the visit of far-right politician Matteo Salvini.

Sat, Mar 11, 2017

Around 300 people broke away from a peaceful march against the Northern League leader, and started throwing rocks and petrol bombs.

The protesters, some of them wearing black hoods and helmets, alsio uprooted street signs and set fire to bins.

Naples mayor Luigi de Magistris this week tried to stop Salvini, whose party is known for its anti-southern rhetoric, from speaking in the city.

But Interior Minister Marco Minniti stepped in asking local police to ensure the visit took place.

Salvini was filmed eight years ago singing an offensive song against Neapolitans at a Northern League event.

But he has since dropped the anti-southern rhetoric and plans to run for prime minister at Italy’s next general elections in 2018.

In an effort to broaden the party’s support base after taking over as leader from Northern League founder Umberto Bossi in 2013, Salvini has apologised for his party’s traditional anti-southern stance.

“I want to go to Naples’ periphery where life is real, unlike that of posh neighbourhoods,” Salvini told supporters in Naples on Saturday.

The League was founded in the 1980s and used to campaign for the independence of northern Italy.

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