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Mussolini's granddaughter storms out of broadcast in Italy

'Do I have to listen to this dickhead?' says Berlusconi MP

29 January, 14:30
Mussolini's granddaughter storms out of broadcast in Italy (ANSA) - Rome, January 29 - The granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stormed out of a television broadcast when a fellow guest said he had no respect for her late grandfather. "Do I have to stay here and listen to this dickhead?" said Alessandra Mussolini before exiting the studio. Mussolini is an MP in the People of Freedom (PdL) party of Silvio Berlusconi, who is leading the centre-right's campaign for next month's Italian election.

The ex-premier caused an uproar Sunday when he said the 1938 anti-Jewish racial laws were the "worst fault" of the Fascist dictator, adding that in many other ways Mussolini "did well".

On Tuesday, his MP Mussolini was being interviewed by Italian station La7 along with journalist Andrea Scanzi, who denounced the late dictator for persecuting and killing Italian anti-Fascists. "I have respect for Piero Gobetti, for Giacomo Matteotti, for all the people who were devastated by her grandfather, but certainly not for her and her grandfather," he said. Gobetti was an anti-Fascist intellectual and journalist who was savagely beaten by Fascist thugs in 1925 and died the next year in Paris.

Matteotti was a Socialist politician who on 30 May 1924 spoke out in parliament against Fascist electoral fraud and denounced the violence used to gain votes. He was kidnapped and killed by Fascists 11 days later.

Historians have debated how far Mussolini was involved in the murder, which sparked widespread protests that Mussolini eventually weathered, imposing stronger dictatorial rule.