Bid fails to strip Italian dictator Benito Mussolini of honorary title

Bid fails to strip Italian dictator Benito Mussolini of honorary title
Copyright  AP/φωτ. αρχείου
By Heather Donald

The town where Mussolini set up Italy's fascist German-puppet republic is standing by the late dictator.

Benito Mussolini is to remain an honorary citizen of Salò, the northern Italian town where he set up the fascist German-puppet republic in the final years of WWII.

A majority of Salo town council members rejected a petition proposing to strip the dictator of the honour he was given in 1924.

“It is right to remember Benito Mussolini as a historical character and to remember the mistakes made by fascism, but to do that we don't have to erase his memory," commented Gianpiero Cipani, the mayor of Salò.

Mussolini was the founder of the Italian fascist movement and he ruled Italy from 1922-1943. He was killed in 1945 at the end of the Second World War by communist partisans whilst trying to escape to Spain.

Italy has seen a rise a surge in the popularity of the far-right in recent years, most notably with Matteo Salvini's League party forming part of the governing coalition.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the court of appeal in Milan overturned the initial sentence for 11 far-right members who made Nazi salutes during a commemoration at the Monumental Cemetery in 2017. They have all now been sentenced to a month and 10 days in prison and given a €200 fine. One of the prosecutors in the case, Daniela Meliota, said that far-right gestures “increase the danger of spreading discriminatory ideas".

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