In Italy, videos of a neo-fascist rally in Rome are causing a stir: hundreds of people raised their right arms and gave a fascist salute at the event. This gesture is called “saluto romano” (Roman greeting) in Italy.
Expect the reactions to the videos to not take long. Opposition parties in particular came forward immediately, demanding that the neo-fascist organizations be disbanded and Prime Minister Georgia Meloni comment on the incident.
Melony remains steadfastly silent
But Meloni has been quiet for days. However, this is not unusual. When it comes to relations with fascism, Meloni gets very lazy. Although he insists there is no place in his party for those nostalgic for fascism, several scandals within his own ranks paint a different picture.
Since Maloney has been prime minister, he has made little comment on the issue, and in fact avoided it. And European elections are coming up soon; He did not want to upset the hard core of the post-fascist base voters.
Videos showing the “Saluto Romano” performance are not uncommon in Italy. While “glorifying fascism” was a criminal offense in the country for years, there were similar images commemorating the Aca Laurentia murders in previous years.
Historian and fascism expert David Conti says that allowing such videos in Italy is a failure to come to terms with fascism. “There is no Nuremberg in our country, which means there is no formal process that historically recognized the responsibilities of fascism until its end.”
But this time the clamor is louder. Maloney's party is also responsible for this. The Fratelli d'Italia have their roots in the Movimento Sociale Italiano, the successor party to dictator Benito Mussolini's Fascist Party.
Italy and Vatican Correspondent, SRF
Simona Caminada is SRF correspondent for Italy and the Vatican in Rome. He has been working at SRF since 2011: first as a radio journalist at the Zürich/Schaffhausen regional magazine and at SRF3, then as a domestic TV reporter in the canton of Graubünden and temporarily in the canton of Ticino.
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