Mario Borghezio, born on 3 December 1947 in Turin, is a far-right Italian politician from the (Northern) League, and a Member of the European Parliament since 2001. Borghezio had ties to right-wing extremist organizations throughout his life, among them Ordine Nuovo and Avanguardia Nazionale.
At the European Parliament, he is currently a a member of the Identity & Democracy parliamentary group, as well as member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and of the Committee on Petitions. He also sits as a substitute member on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.
On 11 July 1976 Borghezio was stopped by the authorities at the bridge Ponte San Luigi, a border crossing near Ventimiglia, and found in possession of a postcard signed "Ordine Nuovo," addressed "to the bastard Luciano Violante" (a magistrate involved in investigating neofascist subversion). The text of the message, accompanied by several swastikas and a "Viva Hitler", was the following: "1, 10, 100, 1000 Occorsio". Vittorio Occorsio, also a leading judge in the fight against black terrorism, had been killed just two days prior in an ambush.1
A graduated in law from the University of Turin, he has worked as a lawyer since 1977.2 Before joining the Northern League, he had experience both in the monarchical movement and in the environments of the extreme extra-parliamentary right. He claimed to have been a young man in the Jeune Europe movement (an international movement of nationalist inspiration founded by Jean Thiriart, a Belgian politician).34
In 1979 during an investigation in regard to "scams and strange financial operations in the orbit of the the phantom cooperative "Aurora” of Borgaro Torinese, the investigating judge Accordon issued six arrest warrants executed by the police of the operative department, among which was Mario Borghezio."5
In the mid 1980s, Borghezio was a member of the group around the Orion magazine, a meeting point of Piemontese neofascists, and he served as director of the economic supplement, Orion-Finanza. A proponent of antisemitic conspiracy theories at the time, Borghezio later went on to join the "autonomist" movement at the suggestion of Maurizio Murelli, the founder of the journal and close acquaintance of Borghezio.
His political career started in 1990 as Municipal councilor of the Northern League in Turin (1990-2001). From 2004 to 2011 he was national president of the Lega Nord Piemont, with Roberto Cota as national secretary.
From 1992-2001 he was a deputy of the Lega Nord. He held the position of Member of the Chamber from 1992 to 2001 for three terms. Borghezio then became undersecretary of justice from 1994-1995 during the first Berlusconi government.
In 1998 he founded the Voluntari Verdi together with Max Bastoni, Omar Tonani and Enrico Pau, an association close to the Northern League with the aim of forming citizens' patrols.
He was also president of the self-proclaimed Government of Padania from 1999 to 2004.
Since 2001 Borghezio is member of the European Parliament for the Northern League. Initially he, as well as the other members of the Lega Nord, were member of the Euro-skeptical nationalist group Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM).
He was re-elected in 2004 for the list of the Northern League in the North-West constituency, receiving 35,000 positive votes.
In 2006, Borghezio was expelled from the IND/DEM parliamentary group. In March 2006, IND/DEM had temporarily expelled the Lega parliamentarians for disagreements over the management of the group's funds and because of the provocations of Roberto Calderoli following the publication of the caricatures of Mohammed on the Jyllands-Posten that led to the resignation of the latter from the government. From April 27th 2006 he passed to the pool of Non-Inscrit members. Borghezio would later join the Union for Europe of the Nations (1999-2009).
He was re-elected to the 2009 European Parliament with 48,290 positive votes.
After insulting Italian Integration Minister Cécile Kyenge with racist remarks in 2013, more than 130,000 votes were collected on the change.org platform, calling on the EU parliament to expel Borghezio or at least take severe disciplinary action against him. Hannes Swoboda (S&D Group Chairman), Véronique Mathieu Houillon (EPP Coordinator in the LIBE Committee), Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE Group Chairman), Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Co-Chairman of the Greens) and Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL Group Chairman) condemned Borghezio's repeated failures in a joint statement and called on the EFD Group, of which he is a member, to take action. In May 2013, Borghezio was therefore suspended by the EFD Group and definitively expelled on 3 June 2013.
In 2014 Borghezio attended a meeting of the still forbidden but resurged Avanguardia Nazionale in Anzio, where also the far-right terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie was present.67 Avanguardia Nazionale was implicated in a wide range of crimes, reaching from false flag attacks to paramilitary activity in Latin America.
On 26 February 2014, Borghezio was excluded from the session of the European Parliament after having waved a Swiss flag with reference to the popular initiative "Against Mass Immigration" and disturbed it with Swiss friendly and EU critical interjections.
On February 28, 2019, the Saudi Mission to the European Union tweeted a picture with ambassador Mohammed Alarify.8
On 17 March 2019, Riposte Laique and Résistance Républicaine were co-hosting an event bringing together Gilets Jaunes with Mario Borghezio, as advertised on the Synthèse Nationale website.9
- 1. Gian Antonio Stella, “Borghezio, via dal Nord le statue di Garibaldi,” Corriere della Sera, 8 September 1996, p. 5, https://web.archive.org/web/20121106172613/http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/1996/settembre/08/Borghezio_via_dal_Nord_statue_co_0_96090811068.shtml.
- 2. “Mario Borghezio,” European Parliament, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/21817/MARIO_BORGHEZIO/cv?cvLanguage=en.
- 3. Claudio Sabelli Fioretti, Interview with Mario Borghezio, melba.it, 27 November 2003, https://web.archive.org/web/20080208051658/http://www.melba.it/csf/articolo.asp?articolo=46.
- 4. Fabrizio Roncone, «Io, Borghezio, un obiettivo vivente» , Corriere della Sera, 7 February 2006, https://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Politica/2006/02_Febbraio/07/borghezio.html.
- 5. La Stampa, February 22, 1979. (not checked)
- 6. Saverio Ferrari, "Avanguardia Nazionale, ritorno in nero," Contropiano, 1o July 2016, http://contropiano.org/news/politica-news/2016/07/10/avanguardia-nazionale-ritorno-nero-081511.
- 7. Giuseppe Scarpa, "Roma, Fiore: 'Servizi dietro Militia. Delle Chiaie regista dell'asse CasaPound-Lega'," La Repubblica, 13 December 2017, https://roma.repubblica.it/cronaca/2017/12/13/news/fiore_servizi_dietro_militia_casapound_e_con_la_lega_ci_ha_lavorato_delle_chiaie_-183971971/.
- 8. Twitter post by the Saudi Mission to the EU, 28 February 28 2019, https://twitter.com/KSAmissionEU/status/1101427973373214721.
- 9. Christine Tasin, "Le Major Alain Bonte et Richard Roudier prendront aussi la parole aux Assises du 17 mars," Résistance Républicaine, 24 February 2019, http://resistancerepublicaine.eu/2019/02/24/le-major-alain-bonte-et-richard-roudier-prendront-aussi-la-parole-aux-assises-du-17-mars/.