Solidarity fights hate says Mattarella on Segre

Sense of responsibility must combat intolerance says president

(ANSA) - Rome, November 8 - Solidarity fights hatred, President Sergio Mattarella said Friday on Holocaust survivor and life Senator Liliana Segre who has been given a police escort after antisemitic threats.
    "Solidarity, co-existence, and a sense of responsibility must combat intolerance, hatred, and opposition," said the president.
    He was speaking at the inauguration of the academic year at Rome's Campus Biomedico University.
    Segre, 89, was given the escort after a stream of antisemitic posts and threats following her appointment as chair of a new panel against racism, discrimination, antisemitism and Web-based hate.
    The vote to set up the new parliamentary commission saw the abstentions of Italy's rightwing and centre-right parties, leading to a row.
    Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told an ANSA Forum on Friday that the State should apologise to Segre.
    He also accused the centre right parties, which recently failed to back an extraordinary commission against hate, racism and anti-semitism proposed by Segre, of validating abuse of the 89-year-old. "It's a defeat for the public institutions that a person like our Life Senator, who survived a concentration camp, now finds herself a citizen in Italy in 2019 needing an escort," Di Maio told the forum.
    "Words of solidarity are not enough because the truth is that we should have protected her from what is happening.
    "That's why we must invest more in education. We must apologise to her as the State. "The people who offend Liliana Segre have either misunderstood the educational message of the country or they have not had chance to study history.
    "If a Life Senator presents a motion with a message of tolerance and integration and against hate and half of the assembly abstains, then we have a political problem.
    "The League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia members, who would like to govern the country, validated the behaviour of those who offend that person". Di Maio is the leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), which was previously in government with Matteo Salvini's anti-migrant Euroskeptic League party.