New Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni openly denounces fascism

New Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni openly rejected fascism in her maiden speech to parliament, saying that Mussolini’s racial laws were the worst moment in Italian history.

Italy’s new leader Giorgia Meloni used her maiden speech to parliament to denounce fascism, and to assure Italy’s commitment to the European Union, reports the Politico.

Meloni, a member of the Brothers of Italy party, was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister on Saturday, October 22, after a right-wing coalition led by her party. She came under pressure during the campaign due to the party’s origins in a group formed by former fascists after the war.

On Tuesday, October 25, she issued her strongest condemnation of fascism so far, saying that Mussolini’s racial laws in 1938, which led to the deportation of thousands of Jewish people to concentration camps, were “the worst moment in Italian history.” She said she “had never sympathized with anti-democratic regimes, including fascism,” and would fight “every kind of racism, antisemitism and discrimination.”

The new prime minister used her speech to set out her vision of Italy’s relationship with Europe, promising allies that her government would remain within the European institutions, voicing that her right-wing coalition did not want “to slow down or sabotage European integration but to steer it to be more efficient in its response to crises … and to be closer to people and businesses.”