Italy’s Salvini seeks to unite right at Rome rally Oct 20, 2019 0 215 12345 AFPRomeItaly’s former firebrand interior minister Matteo Salvini held a mass rally in Rome on Saturday which he hopes will propel him to leadership of the country’s disparate right-wing parties.A crowd of over 100,000 people thronged the Rome piazza, ferried in from around the country by eight special trains and 400 coaches for the “Italian Pride” demonstration.“We were right to abandon this government,” the head of the far-right League party thundered, after speeches by a string of far-right leaders as well as billionaire former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.The anti-migrant Salvini pulled support from the previous populist government over the summer in a bid to spark elections he was convinced he could win to govern the eurozone’s third-largest economy alone. That plan failed when his former coalition partner, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, sealed a deal with the centre-left Democratic Party to form a new, pro-European government.After suffering a blip, the League’s popularity has risen slightly again in the opposition role Salvini is more used to.“I want to live in a free country, where you can govern without waiting for a phone call from (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel or (French President Emmanuel) Macron,” the eurosceptic Salvini said.With the current left-leaning government seeking to change the electoral law to prevent Salvini triumphing alone at the next elections, the 46-year-old hopes to unite parties on the right and centre-right under his leadership. That, however, will not be an easy task.Forza Italia head Berlusconi, 83, whose party has been in a lengthy slump, appears open to just such an alliance, along with the smaller, far-right Brothers of Italy.“We’re here in this piazza because we have a big responsibility, to answer our people’s call for unity,” Berlusconi said, attacking the current government as “the most left-wing” since the war.Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni, who had earlier complained that only League banners were visible on the podium, vowed to fight what she called “the Islamisation of Europe”.“Let’s fight this battle together beyond the confines of individual parties, without selfishness and we will be unstoppable,” Meloni said. RELATED ARTICLES British lawmakers vote to force Johnson to seek Brexit delay Oct 20, 2019 0 191 Villagers search for bodies after 70 killed in Afghan mosque blast Oct 20, 2019 0 203 Oppn’s refusal to hold talks with govt points to anti-Kashmir agenda: Pakistan minister Oct 20, 2019 0 1281 Madrid increases pressure on Catalan separatists after violence Barcelona: Spain’s central government in Madrid on Saturday urged Catalan separatist leaders to unequivocally denounce violence after five nights of clashes. The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez brushed .. German protesters call for closure of animal testing lab Hamburg: Several thousand people called for an end to animal testing and demanded the closure of a controversial laboratory near the northern German port city of Hamburg. Some 7,300 participants joined the peaceful .. N Macedonia PM calls for snap vote after EU snub Skopje: North Macedonia’s prime minister on Saturday proposed a snap election after the EU blocked the start of membership talks, scrambling what had been the key policy goal of his administration. After hours of heated .. US Democrats aim to block Trump resort from hosting G7 Washington: Furious that US President Donald Trump announced he will host the next G7 summit at his own golf resort in Florida, congressional Democrats introduced legislation on Friday to block his plan. Lawmakers said .. Afghan vote results delayed: Official Kabul: Preliminary results expected on Saturday after last month’s presidential election in Afghanistan have been delayed, the election commission said. Officials had previously indicated that results would ..