Berlusconi's defence of Mussolini slammed

2013-01-28 13:03
Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, foreground, sits in front of Northern League party's leader Roberto Maroni, in Milan, Italy. (Antonio Calanni, AP)

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, foreground, sits in front of Northern League party's leader Roberto Maroni, in Milan, Italy. (Antonio Calanni, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Rome - Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi drew widespread criticism for defending Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini during an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The comments were "an electoral manoeuvre" to reach out to far-right voters, the head of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Pier Luigi Bersani, was quoted as saying on Sunday by the ANSA press agency.

Berlusconi, who is leading a centre-right coalition in parliamentary polls in February, said Mussolini "in many ways did well."

But the 1938 racial laws barring Jews from universities and many professions were the dictator's worst fault, he said at a ceremony in Milan Sunday.

Mussolini came to power in 1922 and allied himself with Nazi Germany during World War II. That included taking part in Adolf Hitler's persecution against Europe's Jewish population.

He said it was possible that Italy was "frightened that German power might become a German victory, and preferred to ally itself with Hitler's Germany rather than to oppose it," he said.

Renzo Gattegna, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, called that suggestion "not only superficial and inappropriate, but devoid of moral sense or historical basis."

"It is well-known that the persecution and racist laws against Jews originated well before the war and were implemented in full autonomy by the fascist regime," he was quoted as saying by the ASNA press agency.

Berlusconi dismissed the criticism as politicking by his opponents. He said there could be no ambiguity about his overall opinion of the dictator.

"My historical analyses have always been based on a condemnation of dictatorships," Berlusconi said later, insisting that he has always been a "friend of Israel."

If his coalition wins in February, Berlusconi has said he wants to become economy minister, and has made no claim to his former office of prime minister in recent statements.

At Sunday's ceremony, outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti called for vigilance in light of new right-wing radical activity.

- SAPA
Read more on:    silvio berlusconi  |  rome
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Dewani Trial
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.