Italy | 12/23/2022

Italy 2022 December

Introduction & Updates in National Landscape

The far-right Giorgia Meloni’s government, with the next financial reform, shows all its antipopular approach, sanctioning the deletion of the minimum citizenship income and further cuts both to public healthcare and education systems while decreasing taxes for ‘freelancers’ earning up to 85 thousand euros. From an institutional point of view, the lack of economic coverage for some proposals, together with the procedural mistakes reported by the parliamentary offices, standing disputes within the right-wing majority, and the need to rush before the end of the year define a substantial set-back on several electoral promises, a certain incapacity to handle the situation and all in all an anti-parliamentary attitude. In order to skip the debate within the two chambers of the Parliament, Meloni decided to proceed with a vote of confidence.

Besides this drift of the far-right government, with some low-profile reactions by the confederal trade unions calling for a tiny strike against the financial reform, other worrying aspects are taking shape regarding repression and a post-fascist nostalgic approach. A clear example is the anniversary of the Piazza Fontana massacre, which took place on 12th December 1969. For the first time ever no government officials have taken part in the commemorations in Milan, also because the undersecretary in the Ministry of Defence, Isabella Rauti, is actually the daughter of the former militiaman of the dictatorship and then founder of the neofascist terrorist group, called ‘New Order,’ also accused to have taken part to that attack. Moreover, in those same days, Meloni’s party Brothers of Italy (FdI) opened new seats in northern Italy, all entitled to Giuseppe Rauti, having also been a prominent figure of the Social Italian Movement (MSI), of which FdI is the political heir.

It’s indeed an institutional shame, but not a surprise then, if on the 75th anniversary of the promulgation of the Italian Republican Constitution, created by the antifascist political factions after the Resistance; the President of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, also with a neofascist background, on the 27th of December forgot this recurrence, preferring to celebrate the MSI foundation in that same day. This sort of historical revisionism has been then repeated by the Première also in her end-of-year press conference, declaring that MSI was a constitutional party, also voting the support to many Presidents of the Republic; though it was actually founded later than the Constitution itself and represented an eversive and antisystem political force. From the palace down to the squares; at the beginning of the month, neofascist factions organized a rally in Milan, with Loyalty and Action group demonstrating “for peace in Ukraine,” where also the former right-wing mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, and some supporters of Casapound took part. To counter this rally, an antifascist demonstration also took place that same afternoon, condemning all wars and bringing solidarity to those peoples like Kurds and Iranians under attack or repression.

Another facet of the black painting in Italy is police repression and brutality. After several months the police assistant chief of Primavalle district in Rome, Andrea Pellegrini, has been arrested with the accusation of torture in the case of the 36-year-old, deaf-mute Roma man, Hasib Omerovic, who flew from a window of his apartment last July, during a police inspection. Besides the raid of the four policemen without a legal term of office, so in violation of duties; the main culprit, Pellegrini, is not new to such accusations, considering several disciplinary measures, an arrest in 1998 for theft in Florida and moreover, his affiliation to the neofascist organization New Force (FN).


Transnational Activities & Group Interactions

From an international point of view, the investigation against the far-right german organization called ‘Reichsburger,’ planning a political coup with a terrorist attack on the Parliament, brought to tens of arrests, among which also one plotter in Perugia. It’s still unknown the identity and the reason why one of the german organizations, counting on around 21thousands militants, among who also an AfD member of the Parliament, was actually based in Italy and if he had any connections with Italian far-right groups. Although in Italy, there have been such massive operations for institutional threats, such as that encountered in Germany, right-wing extremism is also growing strongly, following dynamics common in other Western countries. A heterogeneous militant scene is, in fact, developing here, too, combining the classic characteristics of black subversion with absolutely new ideological and operational elements, which make it capable of attracting a vast range of followers and of being more difficult to be discovered. Three recent counterterrorism operations have clearly revealed many of these dynamics in Italy as well, with a ‘lone wolf’ arrested on last October in Bari for his connections with a suprematist American cell, then two other police operations in Campania and Genova for dismantling groups also plotting terrorist attacks on political targets.

What’s evident is the dangerous and antidemocratic nature of the far-right ideology, which always turned more into group actions and raids, such as the attacks perpetrated on the streets of Verona with sticks and chains. The mishandled winter football world cup in Qatar didn’t only show on all mainstream media how money can buy public opinion and corrupt European institutions but led to episodes of hate and violence in many European countries, such as France and Italy. In Verona as well, the celebrations of Morocco supporters, after their winning up to the semifinal, were targeted by neofascist supporters for racist raids on the streets. Twelve local people were arrested for these attacks, hitting Moroccan supporters’ cars, and causing several damages and injuries, including a woman who was hurt by the shards of broken windows.

Such drifts don’t seem to worry the Italian government, considering that no official condemnation came from Meloni’s establishment, though in the very last days of the year, it was very busy with a new security decree. The main worries of the far-right government seem to be more related to the humanitarian missions of NGOs in the SAR area of the Mediterranean Sea. A large part of the new reform, approved on the 27th of December, is in fact aimed at shaping a new code of conduct, allowing the civil float to carry out only a single rescue before the request of a ‘safe harbor’ and the enter in the Italian waters. Other restrictions regard the increasing fines, new embargoes and the prohibition of transshipments between vessels. Once again the right-wing rejects the reality, with the majority of migrants reaching the Italian coasts on their own boats; and more than 1,3thousands victims or dismissed people during their crossing, while the Memorandum on Migration between Italy and Lybia has been carried on also, despite tortures and inhuman treatments in the detention centers of the so-called Libyan coast guard.