Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini said in an interview Friday that he is very happy with the government partnership between the League (Lega) party and that of the 5-Star Movement (M5S), which came as a result of national elections last March.
“The alliance between Lega and Five Stars was born in a particular way: different movements, different histories, different cultures,” Mr. Salvini told La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana in a lengthy interview.
Despite their different positions on certain key issues, the two parties have been able to work together well, Salvini said, by focusing on areas of common interest.
“It is an alliance with which I am fully satisfied, which I would do again tomorrow,” he said, “with a government contract that excludes certain sensitive issues because we have different positions.”
“The League is for the freedom of education, for the right to life, for the defense of the natural family,” the 45-year-old leader of the League said. “But since our allies do not always think the way we do about this, we are content to make sure that no further damage is done. In certain fields, it is better to do nothing than do damage.”
Salvini said that when dividing up the different government ministries between the two parties, the League chose to focus on areas where its moral and social agenda could make a real difference.
In the subdivisions of the government leadership, “we have chosen the ministry of the Family and Disability; the Ministry of the Interior, which also deals with discrimination and gender issues; the Ministry of Education to give a clear stamp of freedom of education and respect for certain principles,” he said.
“Therefore, within the limits of the contract, respecting different sensibilities, we have tried to keep some principles held high,” he said.
Mr. Salvini said he is “firmly opposed” both to the “womb rental” entailed in surrogate motherhood and to gender-fluid parenting. “To give an example: last week I was told that on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, on the forms for the electronic identity card there were ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2,’” Salvini said. “I immediately changed the site by restoring the words ‘mother’ and ‘father.’ It’s a small thing, a small signal, but I assure you that I will do everything in my power as Minister of the Interior.”
“Wombs for rent and similar horrors, absolutely no,” he said.
“We will defend the natural family founded on the union between a man and a woman,” he added.
Curiously, despite Mr. Salvini’s complete alignment with the Catholic Church on key moral issues such as the right to life, traditional marriage, gender theory, and freedom of education, the Italian Church establishment has been waging an open war on the interior minister, comparing him to Satan and the antichrist, because of his commitment to reining in illegal immigration.
Mr. Salvini was asked how he explains the “unprecedented hostility” toward him from the Catholic establishment in Italy, notably the bishops conference and Catholic journals such as Famiglia Cristiana and Avvenire.
“Honestly I cannot explain it. So much virulence leaves me truly perplexed,” Salvini said, adding that on the other hand he is “flooded” with mail from Catholics — even priests and bishops — who encourage him to keep going the way he is.
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