The European Parliament’s Italian president, Antonio Tajani, has provoked outrage for suggesting fascist dictator Benito Mussolini did some “positive” things before he turned bad.
Before following Hitler into war, Mussolini had “built roads, bridges, buildings, sports facilities”, he said on Italian Radio 24.
Political opponents have expressed shock at his remarks. But Mr Tajani has hit back, accusing people of manipulating his words.
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“I’ve always been a convinced anti-fascist,” he said.
Mr Tajani spoke about the legacy left by Mussolini, who he said had “remade many parts of our Italy”.
“Up until he declared war on the whole world, following Hitler, and passed the racial laws… he did positive things to create infrastructures for our country,” Mr Tajani said, referring to measures that banned Jews from schools and limited their professional, economic and social lives.
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