The prime minister in a letter to Corriere della Sera: “The fundamental fruit of April 25 was, and undoubtedly remains, the affirmation of democratic values, which fascism had trampled on and which we find engraved in the republican constitution”.
“For many years, and as any honest observer acknowledges, the parties representing the right in Parliament have declared their incompatibility with any nostalgia for fascism.” To say it is the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, who in a letter written to Corriere della Sera on the occasion of April 25th he underlined: “The fundamental fruit of April 25th was, and undoubtedly remains, the affirmation of democratic values, which fascism had trampled and which we find engraved in the republican Constitution. From that patient negotiation aimed at defining the principles and rules of our nascent liberal democracy – an outcome not unanimously desired by all the components of the Resistance – a text emerged which set itself the goal of uniting and not dividing” (LIVE NEWS ON CELEBRATIONS OF APRIL 25).
Meloni: “May 25 April be a moment of national harmony”
On his first April 25 as premier, Meloni entrusts a letter to Corriere della Sera with “some reflections that I hope will help make this anniversary a moment of rediscovered national harmony in which the celebration of our newfound freedom will help us understand and strengthen the role of Italy in the world as an essential bulwark of democracy”. “And I do it – he adds – 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 in the long years of political and institutional commitment”.
Meloni: “A great democracy, solid, mature and strong”
“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 again speaking of the birth of the Constitution -, the constituents therefore entrusted to the very strength of democracy and of its realization 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”. “Specularly – continues Meloni -, 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. “Thus was born – he adds – a great democracy, 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”.
Meloni: “April 25th was a watershed but the civil war did not end”
“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 deaths and deprivations that have afflicted for a long time our national community”, writes the Prime Minister again. “Unfortunately – he adds -, the same date 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 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”.
Meloni: “Fascism used as a weapon of mass exclusion”
“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 – Meloni writes – It is using the category of fascism as a tool for delegitimizing 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 area of comparison, discussion, simple listening”. “An attitude so instrumental – he adds – that over the years, during the celebrations, it has even led to unacceptable episodes of intolerance such as those too often perpetrated against the Jewish Brigade by extremist groups. Unworthy episodes that we hope we never have to witness again “. “I wonder if these people realize how much, in doing so, they weaken the values they say they want to defend – he continues – It is probably this awareness that prompted Luciano Violante to identify – in his memorable inauguration speech as Speaker of the Chamber – almost thirty ‘years ago – precisely in a certain ‘proprietary conception’ of the Liberation struggle one of the factors that prevented it from becoming a heritage shared by all Italians” – It is “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 the 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 – he adds – that I not only share but that I want to renew today, precisely because 78 years later, love for democracy and freedom is still the only true antidote against all totalitarianisms. In Italy as in Europe”.
Meloni: “Freedom and democracy, everyone’s heritage”
Since April 25, Meloni writes, Italy has been born “a democracy in which no one would be willing to give up the freedoms gained. 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 reason I do not understand the reasons why, in Italy, precisely among those who consider themselves the custodians of this conquest there are those who deny its effectiveness at the same time, narrating a sort of imaginary division between fully democratic Italians and others – presumably the majority judging by the electoral results – which, even if they do not declare it, would secretly dream of a return to that past of lack of freedom”.
Meloni: “There is a risk that the autocracies will subvert the order”
“Love for democracy and for freedom is still the only true antidote against all totalitarianisms. In Italy as in Europe” and this is “an awareness that has 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 whole family of the European Conservatives and the entire centre-right, voted without any hesitation (unlike, unfortunately, others)”, writes the premier. That resolution, she adds, “assumes 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. All over the world – continues the Prime Minister – autocracies are trying to gain ground on democracies and are becoming increasingly aggressive and threatening, and the risk of a union that leads to subversion of the international order that liberal democracies have directed and built after the end of the Second World War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union it is unfortunately real”.
Meloni: “Now we defend freedom in Ukraine”
“In this new bipolarity, Italy has made its choice of sides, and it is a clear choice – continues the Prime Minister – We are on the side of freedom and democracy, without ifs and buts, and this is the way better to update the message of April 25th. Because with the Russian invasion of Ukraine our freedom is back in real danger. This is a conviction that I strengthened thanks to the meeting with an extraordinary woman, Paola Del Din”. Prime Minister Meloni’s letter ends with a reference to the meeting with the partisan Paola Del Din. “During the Resistance he fought with the Osoppo Brigades, formations of secular, socialist, monarchist and Catholic inspiration. She was the first Italian woman – the Prime Minister recalls – to parachute in wartime. Her courage earned her a Gold Medal for Military Valor, which she still wears today, almost seventy years after receiving it, on her chest with touching pride”. “She says of the Resistance: ‘Time has renamed us Partisans, but we were Patriots, I have always been and still are’. In republican Italy – Meloni continues – she was a teacher of Letters and, despite her almost one hundred years of age, she continues to accept invitations to speak in the schools of Italy and the value of Freedom. I dedicate this day to her, mother of four children and grandmother of as many grandchildren, but also, ideally, of all Italians who put love for their homeland before any ideological opposition”.