EU commissioner deplores Berlusconi's defence of Mussolini
'Such voices nurture hate, leaders must stand against them'28 January, 14:37
"For this reason it is necessary that all political leaders take a stance against it". Berlusconi, who is leading the centre right's campaign for next month's Italian election, said the 1938 anti-Jewish racial laws were the "worst fault" of the Fascist dictator, adding that in many other ways he "did well".
The three-time Italian premier also said Mussolini had no alternative but to enter the Second World War because otherwise Germany would have dominated Europe, an assertion many historians dispute. Berlusconi also dozed during Sunday's ceremony.