The bourgeois camp in Italy has never demarcated itself to the right. This is shown not least by the recent march against the new government in Rome.
Demo in Rome – open to the right Photo: dpa
Thousands had come to Rome on Monday to surround the Chamber of Deputies to protest against the new government under the old Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. "Dictatorship!" could be heard over and over again at the barriers: the alleged dictatorship of the new coalition between the Five Stars and the moderate left Partito Democratico (PD), which had simply usurped power instead of clearing the way for new elections.
The demonstration was called by Giorgia Meloni, leader of the post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party, and Matteo Salvini, head of the Lega. They enjoyed bathing in the crowd, and they were not the least bit bothered by the fact that many in that crowd also gladly raised their arms in the Roman salute to demonstrate against dictatorship, for democracy.
Because quite officially and completely unchallenged, two fascist organizations, Forza Nuova (FN) and Casa Pound Italia (CPI), had mingled with the angry citizens, quite officially their leaders gave interviews against the "Brussels yoke" under which Italy was now falling. Meloni and Salvini did not find anything wrong with this; there was no trace of fear of contact, as even the AfD shows, at least officially.
Why should there be? In recent years, Salvini’s Lega has repeatedly shown itself open to contacts to the far right, from local electoral alliances to a hilarious dinner between Salvini and the national leaders of the CPI in 2015.
It’s just a pity for the FN and CPI that they couldn’t post this nice publicity success properly. Also on Monday, while the demonstration was taking place in front of the parliament, Facebook and Instragram closed all accounts of the two fascist organizations and their leaders because hate was being preached there: they showed the fear of contact that Salvini is completely free of.
The new Italian government has cleared the last hurdle. After the approval of the Chamber of Deputies on Monday, the Senate also gave its vote of confidence to the alliance of the populist Five Star Movement and the social democratic PD on Tuesday. There were 169 votes in favor, 133 against and 5 abstentions. (dpa)
Such fears of contact had officially characterized Italy’s parliamentary business at least until 1994, when Silvio Berlusconi entered politics. From the Christian Democrats to the Communist Party there was the "constitutional arc" – outside remained the neo-fascist grubby children of the neo-fascist MSI, whose descendants today can appear unchallenged at the demonstrations of the Lega.
But the fact that even then the clear isolation against the right was more appearance than reality – is represented by the name of a man who died in Rome on Tuesday at the age of 83: Stefano Delle Chiaie.
In parliamentary life, the fascists may have been isolated from the MSI – but behind the scenes, state services cooperated intensively with them, whether in the preparation of military coups, as in 19 (which were both called off at the last minute), or in one of the darkest chapters of Italian post-war history: the "strategy of tension".
The Assassination in Bologna
It refers to the trail of blood that fascist assassins cut through Italy in those years when the left was strong there, beginning with the attack on a Milan bank in 1969 (twelve dead), culminating in the bomb in the Bologna train station on August 2, 1980 (85 dead), and ending in 1984 with an assassination attempt on a train (16 dead).
The P2 secret lodge, which included top military officers, judges, intelligence chiefs, the Italian secret services involved in laying false trails, the Gladio secret force (which was part of the NATO "Stay behind" network), and with them in union neo-fascist terrorist groups: This was the mix of those who put the strategy of tension into action.
Delle Chiaie, for example, was already targeted by the judiciary in 1969 after the Milan bombing. He fled first to Franco’s Spain, then to South America. There, alongside Klaus Barbie, the SS butcher of Lyon, he was at the service of the Bolivian military dictatorship in building up a paramilitary group.
In 1987, he was arrested in Venezuela and extradited to Italy; however, despite incriminating testimony, he could not be proven to have participated in the attacks in Milan or Bologna. Delle Chiaie continued until the end, most recently as head of the organization he founded, Avanguardia Nazionale. Incidentally, Delle Chiaie met alongside representatives of Casa Pound in 2014 with Lega top politician Mario Borghezio at a far-right meeting in Rome. Thus the circle closes.