As national elections draw closer, political extremists have come under the spotlight. The neo-fascist allies of Mussolini’s grand-daughter as well as members of Italy’s extreme left party have managed to cause a political stir.
Current Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has formed an alliance with the party of Alessandra Mussolini but would not let her two political allies join his House of Liberties coalition. Berlusconi claimed that National Front leader Adriano Tilgher and Forza Nuova chief Roberto Fiore were unacceptable as candidates. In response Mussolini stated that she, Tilgher and Fiore would step down and, instead, put forward candidates less likely to cause controversy.
In the meantime, centre-left opposition leader, Romano Prodi, was also demanding a return to middle-of-the-road politics after a member of the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) said Iraqis had the right to shoot at Italian soldiers “occupying” their country. The next day the PRC ejected Marco Ferrando, a Trotskyist, from the list of party candidates.
The upsurge in extremist candidates may be a result of the electoral law that was passed by the current government at the end of last year. This new proportional system gives more power to smaller parties where previously they would have played a marginal role in coalition groups.