Giorgia Meloni’s letter on Liberation Day. The Italian Prime Minister marked April 25, the anniversary of Italy’s liberation from nazi and fascist occupation forces in 1945, by sending a letter to Italy’s leading national paper, Il Corriere della Sera. In it, she touched upon the Liberation’s significance and reflected on its continued importance.
- It’s the first time an Italian Prime Minister hailing from the post-fascist rightwing political sphere marks this day, highly regarded by leftwing forces recalling the partisan volunteers who fought off the occupants – and later influenced the emergence of Italy’s historical left.
- As such, some (across the political spectrum) perceive April 25 as a contentious and partisan occurrence. However, in her letter, PM Meloni hinged her reflections on the need for national harmony and the support of democracy in Italy and beyond.
On fascism and the Italian right. The Italian PM kicked off her letter by highlighting her political area’s 30-year long constructive contribution to the democratic process. “In fact, and as any honest observer recognises, the parties representing the Right in Parliament have declared their incompatibility with any nostalgia for fascism for many years,” she remarked.
- PM Meloni touched upon the emergence of the democratic right in the context of Italy’s liberal democracy. She then criticised those who wield the category of fascism to disenfranchise the standing of political opponents and “weaken the values they claim to defend,” stressing that the Liberation struggle must be a shared heritage.
On the significance of April 25. That day in 1945, she continued, “clearly marks a watershed for Italy: the end of the Second World War, Nazi occupation, the Twenty Years of Fascism, anti-Jewish persecution, the bombings and many other bereavements and deprivations that have long plagued our national community.”
- “[T]he fundamental fruit of April 25 was, and undoubtedly remains, the affirmation of democratic values, which fascism had trampled and which we find carved into the Republican Constitution,” which aims to “unite and not divide” the Italian people.
- “Thus was born a great democracy, solid, mature and strong, despite its many contradictions,” which resisted “internal and external threats” in the postwar period “making Italy a protagonist in European, western and multilateral integration processes.”
On the need to defend democracy… The ensuing Italian democracy, she stressed, is composed of citizens who believe freedom and democracy are an asset for all. “And this is not only the greatest achievement our nation can boast, but also the only true antidote to any authoritarian risk.”
- This awareness led Brothers of Italy and her entire European political group, the Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), to “unequivocally and definitively condemn all 20th Century regimes, without exception,” with a September 2019 resolution “in which I totally recognise myself.”
… especially in Ukraine. This resolution, she added, takes on even greater value in the current context “in view of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people in defence of their freedom and independence from the Russian invasion.”
- “All over the world, autocracies are trying to gain ground on democracies and are becoming increasingly aggressive and threatening,” noted the PM.
- There is a real risk of a united autocratic front subverting the international order that liberal democracies have directed and built after the end of WWII and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, she stressed.
- “In this new bipolarism, Italy has made its field choice, and it is a clear one. We are on the side of freedom and democracy, without ifs and buts, and this is the best way to update the message of April 25. Because with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our freedom is once again in real danger.”