'Xenophobic and racist': Elena Ferrante warns of danger to Italy from Matteo Salvini

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In her Guardian column, author of the bestselling Neapolitan novels makes rare intervention in politics to voice fears of interior minister’s ‘racist fists’

The Italian novelist Elena Ferrante has made a rare foray into the political arena, warning of the dangers of underestimating the “xenophobic and racist” new interior minister Matteo Salvini who heads up Italy’s far-right League party.

Writing in her column for the Guardian’s Weekend magazine, the reclusive Ferrante, who has kept her identity hidden, said she had never been politically active, and while she has “feared for the fate of democracy” in Italy, she has more often “thought our worries have been deliberately exaggerated”.

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