Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Furore over Berlusconi's defence of Mussolini

English
© ANSA

Rome, January 28 - Controversy continued to rage on
Monday after ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi defended Benito
Mussolini after attending a ceremony in Milan to mark Holocaust
Memorial Day on Sunday.
Berlusconi, who is leading the centre right's campaign for
next month's Italian election, said the 1938 anti-Jewish racial
laws were the "worst fault" of the Fascist dictator, adding that
in many other ways he "did well".
The three-time Italian premier also said Mussolini had no
alternative but to enter the Second World War because otherwise
Italy would have come into conflict with Germany, an assertion
many historians dispute.
Berlusconi also dozed during Sunday's ceremony.
"If what Berlusconi said was a bad joke, it was a very bad
joke," said outgoing Premier Mario Monti, who also attended the
ceremony and is standing in the election at the head of a
centrist reform ticket.
Italy's Jewish community expressed anger and some suggested
the comments were an attempt by Berlusconi to win support from
extreme rightwingers.
"It's no use swearing your friendship to the Jewish people
and to Israel (as Berlusconi has) if you then minimise
Mussolini's responsibility to please alliances with wings that
are the political heirs of Fascism," Riccardo Pacifici, the
leader of Rome's Jewish community, said in an interview
published in daily newspaper La Stampa on Monday.
Pacifici added that he was bitter about "this inauspicious
comment on Holocaust Memorial Day".
The centre-left Democratic Party, which leads in the
opinion polls, described Berlusconi's comments as "disgusting".

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