In Italy, there has been an uproar over an old photo showing a future foreign minister of the far-right Muslim Brotherhood – a party with strong fascist roots – with a Nazi band on his arm.
Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, announced at a press conference on Monday that she wants to appoint her party colleague, 47-year-old Galeazzo Benami, as Minister of State for Infrastructure, a ministry that would be led by Matteo Salvini of the far-right Lega. The oath is scheduled for Wednesday.
The news caused a huge uproar. This relates to an old photo in which Bignami can be seen in a black shirt and a red bracelet with a black swastika on a white background. Italian media reported on Tuesday that the photo was to have been taken during a party in 2005. The photo has been circulating since 2016.
The news of the planned appointment was met with criticism from the opposition. Marco Forfaro, MP Marco Forfaro, of the centre-left Democratic Party, said Bignami’s appointment was “an insult and shows disrespect towards the Constitution, history and the victims of the swastika”.
Benami said in a comment that he is ashamed of this photo. However, he finds it strange to repost a private photo of a nearly twenty-year-old for which he has apologized multiple times. In the statement, Benami condemns “all forms of totalitarianism” and describes Nazism as “the absolute evil.” Meloni also stated last week that she had absolutely no sympathy for fascism and condemned the anti-Jewish laws of dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938.
The left-wing opposition also targets other ministerial appointments. For example, Claudio Durigon, who will work for the Ministry of Labor, is accused of wanting to name a park in Latina south of Rome last year after the brother of the dictator Arnaldo Mussolini. The park currently bears the name of the murdered Mafia judges Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. When the past does not disappear. Shadows of black on the selection of deputy ministers ” La Republica Tuesday.
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