Italy PM rejects fascist nostalgia after youth wing scandal

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has told members of her Brothers of Italy (FdI) party that she was “angry and saddened” after an investigative outlet published two reports showing members of the party’s youth wing making fascist salutes and using racist and antisemitic language.

“There is no room [in FdI] for racist or antisemitic positions, in the same way as there is no room for nostalgia for the totalitarian systems of the 20th Century, or for any other display of foolish folklore,” Ms Meloni wrote in a letter.

She added she had “no time to waste with those who want to, unwittingly or not, become a tool in the hands of our adversaries”.

“Those who are unable to understand this, who have not understood the path [we are on] or who are unable to keep up cannot be part of Brothers of Italy.”

In the first report put out by investigative outlet Fanpage in mid-June, members on FdI’s National Youth wing (Gioventù Nazionale – GN) can be heard chanting slogans like “For a cleaner world, come back, Uncle Benito [Mussolini]” and “Sieg Heil!”

The videos were gathered by undercover journalists who infiltrated the group posing as potential new members.

Two weeks later, a second instalment of the investigation showed several members and local leaders making derogatory remarks about disabled people, as well as racist comments and antisemitic remarks.

Fanpage said that after the report came out, several former members of the FdI youth wing got in touch to share their experiences within the group. Many said they had witnessed similar behaviour in local branches across Italy.

Several of the more high-profile members of the GN featured in the investigation were seen as rising stars within the main Brothers of Italy party.

One of them, Elisa Segnini, who could be heard in one of the videos as saying she had “never stopped being a racist or a fascist”, has since resigned from her role as cabinet secretary to an FdI MP.

Local chapter leader Flaminia Pace stepped down from her senior role within the GN after she was caught on camera mocking a Jewish FdI senator, Ester Mieli.



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