Acca Larentia commemoration at which the fascist salute was seen

No place for fascist salute in Europe


Ignazio La Russa, the Speaker of the Senate, has once again stirred controversy. This time he said that making Fascist salutes may not always be considered a crime. The EPP has strongly condemned the salute saying it has no place in Europe.

There was widespread criticism of the salutes displayed by numerous participants during a ceremony commemorating the 1978 Acca Larentia massacre in Rome on Sunday. However, La Russa, known for his far-right ideals, caused controversy yet again by saying the salute at commemorative events may not be criminal.

“The fact that there is uncertainty about whether certain gestures in commemoration cases (are considered criminal) does not help to resolve the issue,”

He mentioned the existing “conflicting rulings” on the matter and expressed anticipation for a forthcoming ruling by the Supreme Court of Cassation regarding the crime of apologising for fascism.

As a founding member of Premier Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, with roots tracing back to the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), La Russa is not new to controversy. Last year, he publicly said he’d be disappointed if one of his children came out as gay. He fuelled the fire with further misogynistic and homophobic comments.

However, La Russa made it clear that FdI had no connection to the events at Sunday’s ceremony, which recalled the Acca Larentia massacre.

During the1978 tragic incident, two members of the MSI’s youth wing, Franco Bigonzetti and Francesco Ciavatta (aged 13 and 17), were allegedly shot dead by far-left militants outside the party’s Rome headquarters. Stefano Recchioni, a 19-year-old MSI youth wing member, was fatally injured during ensuing clashes between the youth wing, known as the Fronte della Gioventù, and the police.

No place for fascist salute in Europe

Vittoria Baldino, an MP from the opposition 5-Star Movement (M5S), strongly criticised La Russa’s remarks in a Facebook post, describing them as “horrific.”

Meanwhile, European People’s Party (EPP) President Manfred Weber said there is no place for the fascist salute in Europe, condemning the actions of hundreds of far-right militants during the ceremony in Rome.

Deputy Premier Antonio Tajani, representing the centre-right Forza Italia party, a member of the EPP, echoed these sentiments. Tajani stated his party is “anti-fascist” and condemned any demonstrations supporting dictatorships. Tajani also noted the existing law in Italy that prohibits the apology of fascism.

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