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Uniting Italy's right wing

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Uniting Italy's right wing

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The Italian political party born of Mussolini’s fascist followers has merged with Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia.

The National Alliance was formally dissolved yesterday by its leader Gianfranco Fini. It will now move into the mainstream and join a powerful PDL (People of Freedom) bloc led by Prime Minister Berlusconi. Fini told the last ever National Alliance party conference: “The PDL cannot, and must not be a right-wing party: it must be a party in which some values of the right are the yeast, the added value.” Many observers see Fini as the logical choice to eventually succeed 72-year old Berlusconi as the head of Italy’s new right-of-centre bloc. Fini insists that Berlusconi is the man in charge, but that would not be the case forever. He said: “The PDL has a leader, and that’s Berlusconi, that’s clear. But he himself knows very well that a strong and recognised leadership can, in no way, become a personality cult.”