Opposition Democratic Party (PD) leader Elly Schlein expressed her disappointment on Wednesday, stating that Premier Giorgia Meloni’s silence regarding the fascist salutes during Sunday’s commemoration for the 1978 Acca Larentia killings in Rome was “troubling.”
Schlein, addressing the Lower House, pointed out that despite Premier Meloni’s three-hour-long press conference, she only needed 30 seconds to declare herself as anti-fascist.
Sources revealed that over 100 individuals have been identified in connection to the salutes.
Various far-right groups from different parts of the country participated in the commemoration outside the former headquarters of the neo-Fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) in Via Acca Larentia.
The Rome branch of the DIGOS special security and political police unit is collaborating with law enforcement in multiple cities to identify additional individuals involved. Notably, Premier Meloni’s Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, rooted in the MSI, did not attend the event. Italy strictly prohibits the apology of fascism.
Reiterating her call for the disbandment of all neo-fascist organisations in Italy, Schlein reiterated the need for action. In response, Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi mentioned that during the PD’s time in government, there was no attempt to ban far-right groups.
Previously, Piantedosi had condemned the salutes during the Senate’s Extraordinary Commission on intolerance and anti-Semitism.
Government should condemn fascist salute
Defence Minister Guido Crosetto, a member of Premier Giorgia Meloni’s FdI party, distanced himself from demonstrations evoking past dictatorships, including the fascist salute. When questioned about the controversy, he asserted, “I have always disassociated myself.”
Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, urged the government and institutions to condemn the actions on Sunday. She called for strengthened laws to curb neofascism, stating the gesture holds contemporary significance. Further, she said the salute should not be dismissed as historical re-enactment.
Di Segni recalled the longstanding appeal to reinforce regulations addressing nostalgia for neofascism.