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Eugenio Scalfari, the editor of La Repubblica, says that Italians have become obsessed with secession. But do they have a sense of identity in the first place?

La Repubblica

9th June 1996

By focusing so much on the Northern League and the danger of secession, we have overlooked more fundamental questions about Italy: What do Italian people think of their nation? Is there an Italian national identity?

The other day I met Irene Pivetti (a leading member of the Northern League) at her office in Montecitorio. She had just returned from a rally in Pontida. After listening to my appraisal of the role of some northerners in the Italian Risorgimento, she said: “The Italian Risorgimento was a violent process carried out by intellectuals such as Pisacane…

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