The Italian patriotic coalition has sent another shockwave through the country’s political establishment by appointing Marcello Foa, a populist supporter of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, to head the public broadcaster Rai.
Mr Foa, who is said to have been a long-time supporter of anti-mass migration League leader Salvini previously worked for the right-wing newspaper Il Giornale. In 2011 he became the top manager of the Swiss Corriere del Ticino group, and has been a vocal advocate for the populist movement in Italy since, l’Espresso reports.
The appointment of the 55-year-old Swiss-Italian dual national was also met with approval from Five Star Movement (M5S) leader Luigi Di Maio who said: “It’s the beginning of a cultural revolution for Rai.”
The anti-establishment leader went on to say that Foa, along with other members of the new leadership of the network would “free Rai from parasites”.
The confirmation of Foa as head of the network requires a two-thirds majority of votes from the Oversight Committee of Rai which would need support from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has yet to agree to the appointment of Foa.
The potential new leadership puts the network at odds with many of the mainstream media organisations across Europe which have frequently attacked the populist movement and U.S. President Donald Trump, such as German magazine Der Spiegel which featured a cover depicting the President decapitating the Statue of Liberty.
Italian Rolling Stone Calls for War on Populist Salvini https://t.co/Gq2qEY7wWm
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 6, 2018
Other publications, such as magazine Rolling Stone, have called for resistance to Salvini because of his anti-mass migration policies.
A study of polling data released by Reuters last week showed that anti-establishment parties were likely heading for major gains in the coming election of up to 17.3 percent of the seats in the parliament, an increase from 10 percent.