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La Russa unworthy of Speakership says Bonaccini

La Russa unworthy of Speakership says Bonaccini

Series of gaffes culminated in Via Rasella 'disgrace' - PD chair

ROME, 01 April 2023, 15:47

Redazione ANSA




Senate Speaker Ignazio la Russa is unworthy of the high office he holds, the second highest in the land after President Sergio Mattarella, centre-left opposition Democratic Party (PD) Chair Stefano Bonaccini said after what he called a string of gaffes culminated in him saying Friday a WWII Partisan attack that sparked the Ardeatine Caves reprisal Massacre was "less than glorious".
    La Russa on Friday criticized the Italian Partisan attack during World War II that led to the 1944 Ardeatine Massacre in which 335 anti-fascist prisoners and civilians were murdered as a reprisal.
    The massacre at the Ardeatine Caves site (Fosse Ardeatine) near Rome was revenge for the attack in Rome's Via Rasella on the Bozen Police Regiment, an SS paramilitary unit which had been raised from people in the largely German-speaking Italian province of South Tyrol that had been annexed to the German Reich.
    The attack, the biggest anti-German partisan attack in western Europe, killed 33 soldiers and two civilians also died, including an 11-year-old boy, although it is not known whether this was due to the blast or the gunfire of the company in response.
    "Via Rasella was a page (in the history) of the resistance that was anything but noble," La Russa, a founder member of Premier Giorgia Meloni's right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, told the Terraverso podcast of daily newspaper Libero.
    "Those who were killed were a music band made up of semi-pensioners, not SS Nazis.
    "They (the Partisans) were well aware of the risk of reprisals on Roman citizens, anti-Fascists and others".
    He was speaking after being asked about the furore stirred by Meloni saying the Ardeatine massacre victims were killed because there were Italians, rather than because they were anti-fascists.
    He said this was a "trumped-up attack".
    La Russa was also recently in the news for saying that discovering he had a gay child would be like finding they were fans of AC Milan, rivals of his own favourite club, Inter Milan.
    He also caused a stir in December by celebrating the 76th anniversary of the foundation of the postwar neofascist Italian Social Movement (MSI), a precursor to FDI.
    La Russa also boasts of his fine collection of Mussolini busts.
    Bonaccini, who is also Emilia Romagna governor and who recently lost a PD leadership race to the more leftwing Elly Schlein, the party's first woman leader, said: "Here we are no longer in the field of gaffes. By now, La Russa has made a series of them, so it seems to me that I can politely say that the second office of State is held by someone who does not have the characteristics'.
    Speaking from the stage of the 'Tempi Radicali' festival organised in Modena by the daily newspaper Domani. Bonaccini then described La Russa's words on the victims of the Via Rasella attack as "shameless and lying" in mischaracterizing an SS unit as a harmless marching band.


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