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HomePoliticsItalian undersecretary Claudio Durigon resigns over Mussolini statement

Italian undersecretary Claudio Durigon resigns over Mussolini statement

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The economy undersecretary in Italy, Claudio Durigon has resigned upon causing an outcry in the country.

Durigon said authorities should name a park in his hometown after the brother of the dictator and fascist Benito Mussolini.

Additionally, the undersecretary is a member of the right-wing League.

Early this month, he said his party pledged to restore the park’s ‘Arnaldo Mussolini’ name, as it was its initial name.

The park resides in Latina, which is a city of nearly 120,000 residents in the center of Italy.
Latina was founded in 1932 at the time of the fascist rule, thus connecting it to Mussolini.

The government in Italy renamed the park in 2017 in honor of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Falcone and Borsellino were the two most prominent anti-mafia civil officers, but the Sicilian mafia murdered them in 1992.

“That’s our history that someone wanted to cancel by changing the name of that park,” Durigon said at a rally.

“It must return to the ‘Mussolini park’ name,” he added while speaking alongside League leader Matteo Salvini.

Durigon’s comments triggered a political reaction from the center-left parties within the national unity government, including the League.

Durigon’s resignation

The parties said they would introduce a parliamentary motion of no confidence unless the undersecretary resigns.

As the backlash grew tenser, Durigon resigned on Thursday evening, acknowledged he made a mistake and apologized to the victims’ families.

“I am not, and never have been, a fascist,” he stated after his resignation.

In the beginning, Salvini attempted to defend Durigon, however, the stalwarts within his group pressured him.

His group disapproved of Salvini’s acts, as they see it wrong for one of their politicians to advocate Mussolini’s heritage.

The League is competing with the far-right Brothers of Italy for first place in the opinion polls.

Salvini applauded Durigon for his resignation and clarified he would stay with the League.

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