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Major rallies to be held in Milan and Rome ahead of Italian election

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Milan/Rome (dpa) - Rival political parties and other groups called for major rallies in various Italian cities on Saturday, as the country‘s election campaign entered its final stages.

The right-wing populist League party expected 50,000 people at an afternoon rally headed by party leader Matteo Salvini at Milan‘s central cathedral square.

In Rome, left-wing groups and the Social Democratic Party will take to the streets in a march against racism, with some 20,000 expected to attend.

In recent weeks, demonstrations have led to repeated clashes between anti-fascists and security forces, with several arrests and injuries reported.

The competing parties can still hold election campaign events up until Friday. On March 4, around 51 million Italians can head to the polls to vote for a new parliament.

Polls have placed the centre-right alliance consisting of Salvini‘s League, the Forza Italia led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and other smaller right-wing parties in the lead.

Meanwhile, the governing Democratic Party is facing a bitter defeat. Many Italians are expected to cast protest votes for the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is on pace to be the largest single party in parliament.


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