Senator Liliana Segre, who delivered the opening address for the 19th legislature from the highest seat of the Senate, 100 years after the March on Rome, confessed she got a feeling of vertigo – one that we also shared.
We also felt bewildered, witnessing the passing of the baton from her to the new president of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, a zealous defender of fascist memory.
In simple, strong, partisan words, Senator Segre summed up the deep meaning of our republican roots, from Calamandrei to Matteotti. It was an important speech, with great symbolic value (which we have published in full).
The fact that the political side which will represent the republican institutions born of the Resistance is the one which has never joined in the celebration of April 25, nor in that of May Day, the cornerstones of our Constitution, which is anti-fascist and founded on labor, is a painful cold shower of hard reality offered by this parliamentary baptism of the new majority.
It was a jarring handover of power, even as it took place according to democratic norms, after a popular vote that handed the heirs of the fascist Republic of Salò the pulpit as the country’s leading party.
That is a dramatic first, for which the divided left and the PD bear full responsibility.
The newly-elected president of the Senate openly defended his political history, and quoted the theses put forward by the communist Luciano Violante (in his speech on his election as president of the Chamber) as a supposed gesture towards national reconciliation. La Russa then offered Senator Segre a bouquet of flowers in appreciation, assuring her that he applauded every word of her speech (a lie thinly veiled by good decorum).
The new path led by the Italian right-wingers has officially begun – albeit with a clamorous political fail by Forza Italia, which voted against La Russa (whose post Berlusconi wanted for himself), but failed to stop him from being elected because of the “red support” delivered strategically by the opposition.
Nonetheless, it is as it was in Berlusconi’s time: we are once again the laboratory of the right in Europe.
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