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La Repubblica - Italy | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Barbara Spinelli warns against Berlusconi's Mussolini nostalgia

Former Italian head of government Silvio Berlusconi voiced praise for the policies of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini at a ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday. Berlusconi is playing with fire, political expert Barbara Spinelli writes in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: "Berlusconi is not the first and he won't be the last to try and shake the anti-fascist foundations of the constitutions that moved Europe's democracies to form a confederation of states. Since this union expanded eastwards, many states that suffered under the Soviet Union have drawn similar conclusions: communism is the true enemy, not right-wing extremist dictatorship. … The proto-fascist regression of Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party in Hungary are a glaring example of this. … History is being distorted and the resentment the serious economic crises are generating among the people is being fomented. Berlusconi is deliberately mimicking Mussolini. … He knows very well that in difficult times the calls for a strong man, for a 'Duce', grow louder."

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