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Mattarella blasts 'aggression' after Meloni mannequin burned

Mattarella blasts 'aggression' after Meloni mannequin burned

President expresses full solidarity for premier

ROME, 23 February 2024, 17:58

ANSA English Desk




President Sergio Mattarella on Friday expressed solidarity for Premier Giorgia Meloni after a mannequin resembling the leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party was burned at a march in Rome.
    The incident took place on Thursday in the capital's Montesacro quarter during a commemoration for a left-wing militant killed in 1980 during Italy's 'Years of Lead' of political violence.
    "We are witnessing an intolerable series of manifestations of violence: insults, vulgar language, speeches devoid of content but full of verbal aggression, even effigies burned or vilified, several times, even of the Prime Minister herself, to whom full solidarity must be expressed,"Mattarella told students at the Quirinale palace in Rome.
    "Political confrontation, the contraposition of ideas and proposals, competition, including electoral competition, are mortified and distorted as a result," he continued.
    Consequently, Mattarella said "the dignity of politics disappears, supplanted by events that represent its negation.
    "I hope that politics will always and as quickly as possible reassert its authenticity, in its most noble forms," he added.
    This year Italians will be called to vote in local elections in over 3,700 towns and cities including six regional capitals, regional elections in five regions and European parliamentary elections.
    The first appointment with the ballot box is for regional elections in Sardinia on Sunday.
    Democratic Party (PD) leader Elly Schlein also condemned the burning of the mannequin and praised Mattarella for speaking out about it.
    "This political violence is not acceptable and must be condemned," said the leader of the opposition, centre-left group.
    "You fight opponents with ideas and proposals in a healthy democratic dialectic. "President Mattarella is right to say that acts of violence and verbal or physical aggression must have no place in democracy".


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