Breitbart News is set to expand its presence in Italy, BuzzFeed News has learned. The alt-right platform, which has one full-time journalist in Rome, is planning to add reporters to its bureau in the Italian capital.
The decision to boost operations in Rome comes following plans to open bureaus in Germany and France, a sign that Breitbart is increasingly turning its focus to Europe. However, it’s upcoming expansion plans do not currently include an Italian-language version of the website.
Breitbart has often drawn criticism for being incendiary, and has been called misogynist, xenophobic, and racist in its coverage of a number of issues including Europe’s refugee crisis.
Breitbart’s expansion in Europe is likely to make a number of countries nervous. Elections are due in France and Germany (and probably in Italy, too) this year, and campaign issues such as immigration, the refugee crisis, security, and debates about national identity are set to feature prominently.
Over the weekend fascist and ultra-nationalist parties from Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands held a joint meeting for the first time. Referring to Trump’s election and Britain’s Brexit vote, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen declared, “2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up. I am certain 2017 will be the year when the people of continental Europe wake up.”