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Italy’s far-right FDI suspends candidate for praising Hitler

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A candidate for the far-right Brothers of Italy (FDI), which is tipped to come top in weekend elections, has been suspended for praising Hitler, the party said on Tuesday.

FDI leader Georgia Meloni, who could lead Italy’s first far-right government after Sunday’s vote, has sought to distance herself from her party’s neo-fascist roots without renouncing them entirely.

Calogero Pisano, the head of the FDI in Agrigente in Sicily and a member of the national leadership, has been “suspended with immediate effect”, the FDI said in a statement.

“(He) no longer represents the party at any level and is forbidden from using its logo’,” it added.

Pisano has been summoned to appear before the party leadership, it added.

In 2014, Pisano had posted on Facebook a photo of Meloni blazoned with the slogan “Italy Above All”.

Underneath he commented, “This reminds me of a great statesman from 70 years ago”, adding that he was not referring to Italy’s Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini but to a “German”.

He has published other comments supporting Fascism.

Peppe Provenzano, the deputy leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, was the first to react after the Facebook post was brought to light by La Repubblica daily.

“Deep roots never freeze,” he tweeted, noting that Brothers of Italy continue to use in their logo the tricolour flame used by the Italian Social Movement (MSI), formed by supporters of Mussolini after World War II.

Ruth Dureghello, head of Rome’s Jewish community, said it was “unacceptable for someone who praises Hitler to sit in parliament”.

Meloni, who was a teenage activist with the MSI, says there is no place for Fascist nostalgia in her party.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.




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