EU’s Antonio Tajani says Mussolini ‘did some positive things’
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini “built roads” in Italy and achieved other “positive things” before following Adolf Hitler into war, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has said. His remarks prompted outrage.
Antonio Tajani, the Italian politician who serves as president of the European Parliament, faced backlash on Thursday over his praise of fascist leader Benito Mussolini. The dictator had ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 and was a key ally of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.
“Mussolini? Before he declared war on the entire world, following Hitler; before he introduced racial laws… he did some positive things to build infrastructure in our country,” Tajani told Italian Radio24.
The fascist leader “built roads, bridges, buildings, sports facilities,” and reclaimed large swaths of Italy from marshes, Tajani added. “If we look at concrete facts, we can’t say he hasn’t achieved anything.”
At the same time, Tajani admitted Mussolini was “no champion of democracy.” The European Parliament head also decried anti-Jewish laws as “crazy” and the declaration of war as “an act of suicide.”
Leftist leader says remarks ‘unbelievable’
In response, senior EU lawmaker Udo Bullmann called Tajani’s statement “unbelievable.”