The Prime Minister in a letter to Corriere on the occasion of Liberation Day underlines: “For years the right has been incompatible with nostalgia for fascism”
“On my first April 25 as Prime Minister, I entrust to the Corriere columns some reflections which I hope will contribute to making this anniversary a moment of renewed national harmony in which the celebration of our newfound freedom will help us understand and strengthen Italy’s role in the world as an essential bulwark of democracy. And I do it with the serenity of those who have seen these reflections fully mature within the ranks of their own political party now 30 years ago, without ever departing from them over the long years of political and institutional commitment. In fact, for many years, and as any honest observer recognizes, the parties representing the right in Parliament have declared their incompatibility with any nostalgia for fascism”. This is what the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, writes in an article in the ‘Corriere della Sera’, recalling how “April 25, 1945 evidently marks a watershed for Italy: the end of the Second World War, of the Nazi occupation, of the Fascist period, of the anti-Jewish persecutions, of the bombings and of many other bereavements and deprivations that have afflicted our national community for a long time”.
“Unfortunately, the same date – he adds – did not also mark the end of the bloody civil war that had torn the Italian people apart, which in some territories lasted and even divided individual families, overwhelmed by a spiral of hatred which led to summary executions of even several months after the end of the conflict. Just as it must be remembered that, while that day millions of Italians returned to savor freedom, a second wave of massacres began for hundreds of thousands of our compatriots from Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia and the drama of the exodus from their lands”. “But the fundamental fruit of April 25thand -recalls Meloni– it was, and undoubtedly remains, the affirmation of democratic values, which fascism had trampled and which we find engraved in the republican constitution”.
“In managing that difficult transition, which had already undergone a significant transition with the amnesty desired by the then Minister of Justice Togliatti – writes the Prime Minister -, the constituents entrusted to the very strength of democracy and its implementation over the years the task of including in the new framework also those who had fought between the defeated and that majority of Italians who had had a ‘passive’ attitude towards fascism. Conversely, those who had been excluded from the constituent process for obvious historical reasons undertook to ferry millions of Italians into the new parliamentary republic, giving shape to the democratic right. A family that over the years has been able to expand, also involving exponents of political cultures, such as the Catholic or liberal one, who had opposed the fascist regime.
After 25 April “a great democracy was born, solid, mature and strong, despite its many contradictions, and which in the long post-war period was able to resist internal and external threats, making Italy a protagonist in the processes of European, Western and multilateral integration. A democracy in which no one would be willing to give up the freedoms they have earned. In which, that is, freedom and democracy are a heritage for everyone, like it or not to those who would like it not to be so. And this is not only the greatest conquest that our nation can boast but it is also the only real antidote to any authoritarian risk”. “For this -adds the premier- I don’t understand the reasons why, in Italy, precisely among those who consider themselves the custodians of this conquest there are those who at the same time deny its effectiveness, narrating a sort of imaginary division between Italians fully democrats and others – presumably the majority judging by the electoral results – who, while not declaring it, would secretly dream of a return to that past of lack of freedom”.
“I understand what the goal of those who, in preparation for this day and its ceremonies, draw up a list of who can and who cannot participate, according to scores that have nothing to do with history but a lot to do with politics. It is to use the category of fascism as a tool to delegitimize any political opponent: a sort of weapon of mass exclusion, as taught by Augusto Del Noce, which for decades has allowed people, associations and parties to be ousted from every sphere comparison, discussion, simple listening”. “An attitude so instrumental -complains there premier- that over the years, during the celebrations, has even led to unacceptable episodes of intolerance such as those too often perpetrated against the Jewish Brigade by extremist groups. Indecent episodes that we hope never to have to witness again. I wonder if these people realize how much, by doing so, they weaken the values they say they want to defend”.
Luciano Violante identified “in his memorable inauguration speech as president of the Chamber almost thirty years ago— precisely in a certain ‘proprietary conception’ of the struggle for Liberation one of the factors which prevented it from becoming a heritage shared by all Italians. A concept taken up in 2009 by Silvio Berlusconi (then president of a Council of Ministers in which I also sat) in another famous speech, when in Onna, celebrating the anniversary of Liberation on the rubble of the earthquake, he invited to make April 25 the ‘Festa della Libertà’, so as to overcome the lacerations of the past. A hope that I not only share but that I want to renew today, precisely because after 78 years the love of democracy and freedom is still the only true antidote against all totalitarianisms. In Italy as in Europe”.
“An awareness -adds the premier- which led the European Parliament to unequivocally and definitively condemn all the regimes of the 20th century, without exception, with a resolution of September 2019 in which I totally recognize myself, and that the group of Brothers of Italy , together with the entire European Conservative family and the entire centre-right, voted without any hesitation (unlike, unfortunately, others). A resolution that takes on even greater value in the current context, in the face of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people in defense of their freedom and independence from the Russian invasion”.