blowback for Giorgia Meloni and the emblem of his party suspected of reference to Mussolini

blowback for Giorgia Meloni and the emblem of his party suspected of reference to Mussolini

“Here it is, our beautiful symbol deposited for the next elections. A symbol of which we are proud, ”comments the one who could become in a few weeks the first woman president of the Italian Council. According to some analysts, the base of the logo represents the tomb of Benito Mussolini in Predappio (north), birthplace of the “Duce” where tens of thousands of people visit the family crypt each year.

As luck would have it, this anticipated return to the polls for Italians took place almost a century to the day after Benito Mussolini’s historic March on Rome on October 28, 1922, after which the dictator took power to keep it with one hand. iron for two decades.

fascist flame

It was the Italian Social Movement (MSI), founded in 1946 by former fascists or sympathizers, which was the first to make the flame its banner. Giorgia Meloni, 45, was herself a member of the Fronte della Gioventù (“Youth Front”), her youth movement.

The flame has seduced other radical rights in Europe. On the occasion of the founding of the French National Front in 1972, Jean-Marie Le Pen adopted the Italian tricolor flame but denied any affinity with the MSI, if not their opposition to communism. “One should not draw conclusions from these identical graphs. We used this tricolor flame because it seemed to us the prettiest on the market”, he explained on November 3, 1972 to the 8 p.m. newspaper.

In Italy, controversy has resurfaced from time to time since the creation of Fratelli d’Italia at the end of 2012, particularly as elections approach. And this time again, the left, which lags abyssally behind the right in opinion polls, returns the question to the debate. The deputy of the Democratic Party (PD, left) Laura Boldrini thus called on Giorgia Meloni to “justify the presence in the emblem of Fratelli d’Italia of the tricolor flame, representation of the regime straight out of the tomb of the dictator”.

If she keeps repeating that her political family has “stored fascism in history” and that the “nostalgics of fascism have no place” in her party, her opponents summon her to join the acts to the speech.

“Apologetic Symbol”

In an interview in early August with the Jewish community newspaper Pagine Ebraiche, Senator for Life Liliana Segre, 91, an Auschwitz survivor and highly respected personality in Italy, demanded “facts”. “I’ve heard everything in my life, and even more, words don’t affect me very much anymore. To Giorgia Meloni, I say: start by removing the flame from your party logo”.

The criticisms have even come from a certain right of the right which accuses Fratelli d’Italia of softening and no longer being worthy of the emblem.

“Have you changed your mind, quickly becoming liberal, conservative, Europeanist, Atlanticist? It’s your right, but definitely remove the tricolor flame from your small party from the system, moderate, “said Roberto Jonghi Lavarini, an activist of the post-fascist movement.

Broaden your electoral base

Ignazio La Russa, ex-MSI and co-founder of Fratelli d’Italia, defends that the flame “is in no way comparable to a symbol of the fascist regime and has never been accused, let alone condemned, as a apologetic symbol”.

For the philosopher and journalist Anna Bonalume, author of “A month with a populist” (at Pauvert/Fayard) on the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, the other leader of the Italian far right, the choice of Giorgia Meloni to resuming the flame of the MSI aims to widen its electoral base to Italians disappointed by Gianfranco Fini, former boss of the MSI who had wanted to “respectabilise” the movement and founded a more centrist formation, Alleanza nazionale.

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