Rome mayor blocks naming street for neo-fascist leader

Marcy Oster

ROME (JTA) – Rome will not have a street named after Giorgio Almirante, one of the country’s most notorious post-war neo-fascist leaders, after all.

Almirante, who died in 1988, founded the neo-fascist MSI party in 1946. Under fascism, he had signed the anti-Semitic 1938 “Manifesto for the Defense of the Race” and served as an editor of the anti-Semitic journal “Defense of the Race.”

Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi on Friday blocked a city council motion passed on Thursday to name a street or piazza for Almirante.

The motion had been put forward by the far-right Brothers of Italy party. Italian media reported that almost all council members of Raggi’s populist Five Star Movement had voted in favor of the motion.

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Rome’s Jewish community had branded the attempt “a disgrace to the history of the city.” It said in a statement: “Someone who held the position of editorial secretary of […] the Defense of the Race, without ever repenting, does not deserve a street named after him.”

As leader of the MSI, which was dissolved in the 1990s, Almirante was one of Italy’s most prominent far-right politicians, serving for many years in Parliament. There are streets named after him in several towns around Italy.

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