Italian opposition voices outrage at Fascist salute video

Italian opposition voices outrage at Fascist salute video

ROME (AFP): Italian opposition leaders called Monday for neo-fascist organisations to be disbanded after a video emerged allegedly showing hundreds of people making the Fascist salute.

“Rome, January 7, 2024. It seems like 1924,” when Italy was run by Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, Elly Schlein, leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, posted on Facebook.

“Neo-fascist organisations must be dissolved, as the Constitution says.”

The video published by newspapers including Italy’s newspaper of record, the Corriere della Sera, shows hundreds of people standing in lines and raising their hands in a Fascist salute three times as they shout “present”.

Most appear to be men, dressed primarily in black. AFP could not independently verify the video.

Newspapers reported the video was taken Sunday night at an event marking the anniversary of the 1978 murders of two teenage right-wing activists.

The crowd appears to be gathered in front of the former Rome headquarters of the Italian Social Movement (MSI) — a party formed by supporters of Mussolini after World War II — where the teens had been shot and killed allegedly by far-left activists.

No one was ever convicted over the deaths. A third MSI youth wing member died after being hit by a stray bullet during subsequent riots.

Schlein called on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni — leader of the post-Fascist Brothers of Italy party, which grew out of the MSI — to condemn the event.

The Democratic Party also called on the government to dissolve neo-fascist groups and to “oppose fascist apologists with every means”.

The opposition Five Star Movement intends to make a complaint to the Rome prosecutor’s office to establish if any crime was committed, the AGI news agency reported.

In a statement, Meloni’s party accused its of “using the memory of the tragic deaths of three boys killed by Communist hatred to make sinister propaganda”.