Farage's principal ally in the EFD group is the Liga Nord.
I give some background research below on this group and its leaders and ask why does the ordinary UKIP member want to be in a coalition with this group?
Mario Borghezio, Lega Nord, & links with wartime Nazis.
Mario Borghezio (b. Dec 3 1947, Turin, Italy) is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) representing the North West of Italy. He is a member of the Lega Nord, a secessionist party that advocates independence for the northern region of Italy that it calls Padania. In actual fact, the party's ideology is somewhat confused, as it seems to embrace both secessionism, and federalism.
In the European Parliament, Lega Nord MEPs sit in the Europe of Freedom & Democracy (EFD) group. Borghezio has brought a new dimension to the debate in Brussels and Strasbourg. He recently hosted a press conference for the conspiracy theorist Daniel Estulin, on the subject of the Bilderberg Group. He has also tabled a written declaration calling for nations to declare their contacts with extra-terrestrial life forms. Before examining Borghezio's links with far-right groups, including one with very strong wartime Nazi connections, it is worth briefly discussing Lega Nord, and the nature of some of its senior figures.
A number of the Lega's prominent elected members have been involved in controversy.
Party leader Umberto Bossi suggested during an interview in 2003, that the Italian Navy should open fire on boats containing immigrants, who he described as "bingo-bongos".
In the same year, Giancarlo Gentilini, Lega Nord Mayor of Treviso, said of immigrants, that
"we should dress them up like hares and bang-bangbang".
Umberto Bossi Gentilini also declared, at a rally in Padania in 2008, that
"We must cleanse our streets of the black-skinned, the yellow-skinned, the Roma … I would have all the immigrants put on file, one by one. Unfortunately, this is not allowed by the law. They are the carriers of all sorts of diseases, tuberculosis, Aids, scabies, hepatitis. As a result he was convicted of "inciting racial hatred".
In 2002 the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) first denounced the party:
"leaders of the Northern League have made a particularly intense racist and xenophobic propaganda, although it should be noted that even members of other parties have used a political language xenophobic or otherwise intolerant..."
4 In 2006 the ECRI further noticed
"with regret that, since then, some members of the Northern League has stepped up the use of racist and xenophobic discourse in politics. While noting that you are in this respect especially the local elected representatives of this party, including some important political leaders at national level have issued statements racist and xenophobic. These talks have continued to target mainly the immigrants, but also other members of minority groups such as Gipsy or Southern Italians".
In August 2010 a report published by the Council of Europe criticised Italian politicians for
"promoting a xenophobic environment that has spawned an alarming series of violent anti-immigrant attacks."
Borghezio responded to the criticism by stating that
"Once again the European bureaucrats judge from their comfortable armchairs in northern Europe the emergency measures that our country has had the courage to put into effect."
In May 2009, Matteo Salvini, formerly an MEP and at that time Lega Nord secretary in Milan, called for racial segregation on Milanese public transport
He subsequently returned to the European parliament, where he now sits as an MEP in the EFD group alongside Borghezio.
Salvini was one of a number of MEPs who, in the previous (2004-2009) parliament had been expelled from their political group for racist actions.
The group in question was the Independence & Democracy Group (Ind Dem), which was effectively the forerunner of the EFD. Two British MEPs, Nicole Sinclaire and Michael Nattrass, have subsequently resigned from the EFD group in protest at the presence of extremist elements.
(3 & 4)
Lega Nord's website openly carries the slogan "No votes for immigrants".
The Lega website also carries an article advising women to carry pepper gas sprays to protect themselves from Romanian and other foreign rapists, which has led to accusations of incitement to commit violence.
1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/07/italy-right-winggianfranco- fini
2. (Guardian, May 8, 2009).
Father Abrahamowicz & Holocaust denial.
In 1984, Father Florian Abrahamowicz, described as the
"Chaplain of Lega Nord"
had spoken at a ceremony in honour of those who died in support of Mussolini's republic, which had fought, he claimed, for motherland and religion,
"innocent victims because their murderers belonged to no legitimate army",
a reference to the partisans, described as belonging to an unnatural Communist sect.
In 2006, he said in a television interview that he viewed Erich Priebke, a German SS officer convicted of war crimes for a 1944 massacre in Rome, in which 335 Italian civilians were killed in reprisal for the deaths of 33 German soldiers, not as an "executioner", but rather a soldier who acted "with regret and a heavy heart".
In January 2009, Fr. Abrahamowicz said that he was not sure the Nazis had used gas chambers for anything other than disinfection, claimed that the number of six million Jews killed was derived from a number fired off by the head of the German Jewish community without knowledge of the facts, complained that the Holocaust had wrongly been exalted, by Jews in particular, above other genocides
On 5 February 2009 the Italian chapter of the Society of St. Pius X issued a notification that from the following day Abrahamowicz was to be expelled from the Society "for serious disciplinary reasons".
6 Mario Borghezio -
Arrests and Convictions In 1993, Borghezio was ordered to pay a fine of 750,000 lire following a violent assault on a Moroccan child in 1991. He appeared to justify this by alleging that the child was an illegal immigrant. In July 2005, Borghezio was found guilty of arson, having set fire to the belongings of some immigrants while they were sleeping under a bridge in Turin during a vigilante raid.
For this he was sentenced to two months and twenty days imprisonment, which he avoided by paying a fine. In September 2007, Borghezio was arrested by Belgian police during an unauthorised anti-Islamic demonstration in Brussels.
In another violent incident, a team of "green volunteers" -
Lega Nord has its own paramilitary wing, known as the Greenshirts -
organised by Borghezio to cleanse the Italian railway system of alleged prostitutes, sprayed a group of African women, sitting in a train compartment, with disinfectant.
Borghezio has spoken at rallies of the neo-fascist party Forza Nuova (founded by convicted terrorist and fellow extreme-right politician Roberto Fiore).
At one such rally in Rome in December 2002, Borghezio attacked
"the global attempt to corrupt and bastardise our blood".
Notable quotes. In August 1997, Borghezio called for illegal immigrants to be held in "work camps.
In April 2000, during a regional election campaign, Lega Nord members chanted Borghezio's controversial
"Prayer of the Gypsy", with its reference to the gassing of "nomads".
In early 2009, Borghezio was filmed addressing young fascists on the need to infiltrate mainstream political parties.
8. (Agence France Presse, Aug 14, 1997).
9. (European Roma Rights Centre Country Reports Series), issue: No.9 / 2000)
7 Borghezio's alleged involvement in the New Order
(11). The New Order, founded in 1956, positioned itself as a
"cultural and extraparliamentary" political grouping.
The group's ideological base was the work of Julius Evola.
Two of the most prominent names in the leadership of the New Order, (Ordine Nuovo, in Italian) were Pino Rauti and Giulio Maceratino. Pino Rauti, founder of the Order, is particularly interesting.
In March 1972 an arrest warrant was issued for Rauti, concerning train bombings in 1969.
He has also been indicted and prosecuted over his involvement in the Massacre of Piazza della Loggia, a neo-Nazi terrorist attack in May 1974 in which eight people died and 102 were injured.
In November 1973, 30 members of the New Order were sentenced by courts for attempting to revive the Italian Fascist Party.
The courts also decreed that the New Order be dissolved. Borghezio seems to deny any involvement in the New Order, and on July 31st 2010 he appeared to have obtained a retraction from the British Independent newspaper, which had printed a reference to his involvement the previous month.
However, New Order founder Pino Rauti seems to contradict Borghezio.
In a recent television interview, he recalled his own memories of Borghezio. He recalled Borghezio's involvement in the far-right magazine "Orion", founded by Maurizio Murelli, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of a police officer.
Borghezio, allegedly, had produced a supplement for the journal, called "Orion finance".
8 Borghezio admits to his involvement with Jean Thiriart & Young Europe. In a recent interview with Italian journalist Claudio Sabelli Fioretti Borghezio admitted to his involvement with the Belgian Nazi Jean Thiriart, the founder of Young Europe.
"Lo stavo in un movimento rivale di Ordine Nuovo. Si chiamava Giovane Europa. Il leader era Jean Thiriart"
This translates as:
"I was in a rival movement of New Order. It was called Young Europe. The leader was Jean Thiriart".
Thiriart had trained during WW2 under the command of SS Lt. Col. Otto Skorzeny. Thiriart's wartime activities included the hunting down of resistance workers in occupied Europe. Convicted after the war, following his release from prison in the late 1940s,
Thiriart began visiting Skorzeny, who was in exile in Spain.
Thiriart was a leading exponent of a united Europe, and in 1965 he published the book Europe - and empire of 400 million men.
He named the enemies of Europe as being American imperialism, and (surprise, surprise) Zionism, and claimed that 1945 marked
"the military defeat of all Europe".
According to US academic Prof. George J. Michael of the University of Virginia, an acknowledged expert on political extremism, Thiriart acted as an advisor to Fatah, a wing of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
Thiriart also supported various black power groups in the US. In an interview with author Gene H. Hogberg in 1987, Thiriart discussed his then forthcoming work 'The Euro-Soviet Empire from Vladivostok to Dublin', which he immodestly referred to as his 'Bible'.
Thiriart advocated an east-west dynamic that he referred to as "Eurasianism".
Preaching that the main enemies of Europe were American imperialism and Zionism, he earlier began to set up camps to train young partisans for guerrilla war against these perceived enemies.
This project was halted by none other than Otto Skorzeny, suggesting a greater degree of influence on Young Europe from Nazis that was realised at the time. Certainly, Skorzeny was heavily involved in the Nazi Werwolf project, and so he would have had knowledge and expertise in this area. Indeed, Skorzeny was considered a major player in the post-war fascist underground movement.
9 This raises the question, was Young Europe under the partial control of Otto Skorzeny at the time of Borghezio's involvement?
Young Europe also participated in 1962 Conference at Venice, where they agreed to participate in the National Party of Europe along with British fascist leader Sir Oswald Moseley, the radical ex-Nazi Otto Strasser, and others. In his later life, Thiriart spent a lot of time in Russia, where he worked closely with Alexander Dugin, who has blamed the failure of National Socialism on the nature of the German people, whilst stating that
"Russian fascism is a combination of natural national conservatism with a passionate desire for true changes."
Another admirer of Evola, Dugin has praised the Nazi think-tank Ahnenerbe, an organ of the SS as
"an intellectual oasis in the framework of the National Socialist regime".
Dugin has also described Reinhardt Heydrich as a “convinced Eurasianist" Closely linked with Thiriart, and himself a member of Young Europe, was Emile Edmond Lecerf (alias Pierre-Louis Lecour), a former Nazi collaborator during WW2.
Evidence exists in the form of a Belgian police document, dated Sept 10th 1973, of Lecerf's involvement in a planned far-right coup (Appendix 1).