Footage shows Meloni's youth wing performing fascist salutes (2024)

Hidden camera footage has captured members of Italian hard-right leader Giorgia Meloni's youth wing performingfascist salutes and chanting 'Sieg heil'.

In the wake of the scandal,Prime Minister Meloni told her Brothers of Italy party on Tuesday that it should expel from its ranks anyone who idolises Italy's fascist past, and to rejectantisemitism, racism and nostalgia for its past dictatorships.

Criticism has mounted after an undercover media investigation last week released a video of members of her party's youth wing making the fascist salutes.

In a letter to party leaders, Meloni said she was 'angry and saddened' that their actions damaged the group's reputation.

'There is no room in Brothers of Italy for racism or antisemitism, nor is there space for those who are nostalgic for the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century or for any manifestation of foolish folklore,' she wrote. 'Our task is too great for those who have not understood its scope to be allowed to ruin it.'

Hidden camera footage has captured members of Italian hard-right leader Giorgia Meloni's youth wing performing fascist salutes and chanting 'Sieg heil' (pictured)

In the wake of the scandal, Prime Minister Meloni (pictured June 28) told her Brothers of Italy party on Tuesday that it should expunge from its ranks anyone who idolises Italy's fascist past, and reject antisemitism, racism and nostalgia for its past dictatorships

Brothers of Italy traces its roots to a neo-fascist group set up after World War Two.

However, Meloni has worked to distance herself from the far right in recent years and says her party is mainstream conservative.

But in a blow to these efforts, opposition parties leapt on the investigation by the online newspaper Fanpage, which was titled 'The Meloni Youth'.

The publication's journalist pretended to be an activist with National Youth, the youth wing of the Brothers of Italy party, and the report came out in two episodes last month.

Fanpage said the footage from a hidden camera showed members of the movement doing fascist salutes, praising Benito Mussolini, defining themselves as fascists and instructing others to spread stickers with fascist slogans.

This, Fanpage said, showed Brothers of Italy was a refuge for extreme right-wingers, belying Meloni's efforts to present a moderate image both at home and abroad.

Meloni said on Tuesday the Brothers of Italy had to be transparent and consistent.

'Anyone who believes there can be a public image of Brothers of Italy that does not correspond to their private behaviour simply does not understand what we are, and thus is not welcome among us,' she said in the letter.

'There is no room in our ranks for those who play a caricature role that only serves the narrative our opponents want to create about us.

'I and we don't have time to lose with those who want to make us go backward.'

Fanpage.it said the footage from a hidden camera (pictured) showed members of the movement doing fascist salutes, praising Benito Mussolini, defining themselves as fascists and instructing others to spread stickers with fascist slogans

Fanpage published clips of youth members chanting 'Duce', a reference to Mussolini, and shouting 'Seig heil' - an expression adopted by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler

However, Meloni and other lawmakers from her party also criticised the methods deployed by the journalists, saying that the report only represented a small majority of her party's youth movement rather than the party as a whole.

Luca Ciriani, a Brothers of Italy lawmaker, also said the Fanpage report was based on fragmented, out-of-context images.

Despite her efforts to distance the modern iteration of her party from Italy's fascist past,Meloni once again had to remind her party's leadership to move on.

She also reminded them that Brother of Italy adhered to a 2019 resolution in the European Parliament which condemned all 20th century dictatorships.

She said this was a 'position' that she has 'no intention of questioning'.

The report showed that the party's project to bring it into the modern era was not complete, and that nostalgia remains for the days of Mussolini -Italy's fascist leader and 'Duce' (derived from Dux in Latin, or leader) from 1922 to 1945.

He was summarily executed in 1945 by Italian partisans.

Fanpage published clips of youth members chanting 'Duce', a reference to Mussolini, and shouting 'Seig heil' - an expression adopted by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler.

One man was seen telling the journalists: 'I am a fascist'.

Another said: 'We are comrades, not dumb a**holes' - contrasted with Meloni telling a crowd of National Youth members: 'I am proud of you.'

The undercover reporter attended a meeting of the group, where people were seen chanting and making the fascist salutes.

It also showed thatMarco Perissa and Paolo Trancassini,senior members of the Brothers of Italy party, andNicola Procaccini, an MEP, were also there.

The clip showed how some greeted attendees with a 'gladiatorial salute' - which, the report says, is when two people grasp each other's wrists in a hand shake.

Fanpage's report also showed a group chat where someone had posted the message: 'Jewish people are a race and I despise them.'

Two youth members -Elisa Segnini and Flaminia Pace - resigned last week after the second instalment of the expose was released.

They were not expelled, said a spokesperson for the Brothers of Italy party.

Pictured: Meloni is seen speaking at aNational Youth event in the Fanpage report

Fanpage said the footage from a hidden camera showed members of the movement doing fascist salutes, praising Benito Mussolini, defining themselves as fascists and instructing others to spread stickers with fascist slogans (pictured)

Liliana Segre, an Italian senator and holocaust survivor, asked on Italian television after seeing the reports from Fanpage:'At my age, will I have to see this again?'

'Will I have to be kicked out of my country like I was once kicked out?'

Lawmakers from the left of Italian politics spoke out against Meloni.

Michela Di Biase, of Italy's Democratic Party, accused theNational Youth of idealising those who 'stained the history of our country with the blood of persecution.'

Footage shows Meloni's youth wing performing fascist salutes (2024)
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