Home News Merloni denounces fascist nostalgia in party youth wing scandal

Merloni denounces fascist nostalgia in party youth wing scandal


Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meroni on Tuesday urged her party leaders to reject anti-Semitism, racism and nostalgia for totalitarian regimes after an Italian news outlet captured members of the Italian Communist Youth League glorifying fascism on hidden cameras.

“I am angry and saddened by the actions of some young people in our movement who represent us,” Ms. Meloni said in a An email, The New York Times reported that she disclosed this to the directors of the Italian Brothers party.

The news report, which aired in two episodes last month, was filmed by a journalist from the Italian news outlet Fanpage.it, who pretended to be an activist with the National Youth, the youth wing of the Italian Brotherhood.

Hidden cameras captured members of the movement giving fascist salutes, praising Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, instructing others to spread stickers with fascist slogans and defining themselves as fascists, the report said. Some youth group members were captured on camera while shouting “Hail Victory,” an expression adopted by the Nazis. Others identified as youth group members were also captured on camera while making racist and anti-Semitic comments, the report said.

The report is a blow to Ms. Meloni, who despite coming from a party born out of the ashes of fascism, Trying to break away from the past He has vowed to portray himself as a modern, pragmatic leader and has repeatedly said fascism belongs to history.

But nearly two years into her tenure, she has had to remind her party leadership to abandon that tradition, a sign that the transformation is incomplete and that nostalgia for Italy’s darkest past persists, at least among some in a party that grew from a fringe movement to Italy’s largest governing force.

“At my age, do I still have to watch this kind of movie?” Italian Senator and Holocaust SurvivorLiliana Segre, 93, asked on Italian television after seeing the Fanpage report: “Am I going to be kicked out of my country like before?”

Left-wing lawmakers rose. Michela Di Biase, a member of the Italian Democratic Party, accused young people in Ms. Merloni’s party of idealizing those who “stain the history of our country with the blood of persecutions.”

Merloni and MPs from her party criticised the journalist’s reporting style and said the report did not represent the true identity of her party and its youth movement, but only a small group of people. Luca Sirianni, a member of the Brothers of Italy parliament, said the report was built on fragmented and decontextualised images. Other party members acknowledged and condemned the behaviour.

But Ms. Meloni also felt the need to speak out.

“We have no place in our ranks for those who play caricature roles and only serve the narrative our opponents want to create about us,” she wrote. “I and we do not have the time to waste with those who want to take us backwards.”

She also reminded party leaders that the Italian Brotherhood adheres to a 2019 European Parliament resolution that condemned all dictatorships of the 20th century. “I have no intention of questioning this position,” she said.

Donatella Di Nitto, a spokeswoman for the Italian Brotherhood, said two youth members named in the report, Elisa Segnini and Flaminia Pace, resigned from their official positions after the report came to light but were not expelled from the organization.

Cegnini quit his job working with a member of the party’s parliament, and Pace resigned from Italy’s Youth Council, which represents young people.

DiNitto said Cennini and Pace had no comment. She added that there were no other resignations or firings “at this time.”

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