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.”