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Euro parliament head hails Mussolini's efforts

By AFP

Added 14th March 2019 02:27 PM

"The fascist dictatorship, racial laws and deaths it caused are the darkest page in Italian and European history."

Euro parliament head hails Mussolini's efforts

"The fascist dictatorship, racial laws and deaths it caused are the darkest page in Italian and European history."

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani (R) welcomes Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf at the European Parliament in Brussels on March 6, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
 
The right-wing Italian president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani was in hot water on Thursday after talking up dictator Benito Mussolini's contributions in a radio interview.
 
"You don't have to agree with his methods... but let's be honest, Mussolini built roads, bridges, buildings, sports installations, he remade many parts of our Italy," said Tajani, who is close to tycoon and former premier Silvio Berlusconi.
 
"Generally speaking I don't think his government action was positive. But things were done," he told Italian radio on Wednesday, mentioning also "very serious, unacceptable mistakes", including eliminating opponents, race laws and declaring war.
 
Faced with a barrage of criticism, Tajani took to Twitter to defend himself.
 
"Shame on those who manipulate what I've allegedly said on fascism. I've always been a convinced anti-fascist, I will not allow anyone to suggest otherwise," he wrote.
 
"The fascist dictatorship, racial laws and deaths it caused are the darkest page in Italian and European history."
 
On Thursday, #Tajani was trending in Italy, with one user tweeting a photo of a glass of brackish water: "There's also clean water in this glass."
 
Left-wing MEPs in Brussels recalled the alliance of Tajani's Forza Italia with far-right parties the Lega and Fratelli d'Italia.
 
"The statements by the president of the European parliament are unworthy and absolutely unacceptable," the head of the Greens-European Free Alliance grouping, Ska Keller, said in a statement.
 
"Antonio Tajani must withdraw his comments normalising fascism or resign," said the German MEP.

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