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POLITICS

Mussolini’s great-grandson is standing for the EU elections in Italy

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini's great-grandson plans to run in next month's European parliamentary elections on behalf of an Italian far-right party, local media reports.

Mussolini's great-grandson is standing for the EU elections in Italy
The ideology of dictator Benito Mussolini is still surprisingly popular - and tolerated - in Italy. Photo: Vituzzu/Wikicommons.

Caio Giulio Cesare Mussolini, a 50-year-old former submariner, aims to run as a candidate for the Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy) party, Il Messaggero said.

“So many people want to put Mussolini on the ballot,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Italy could now end up with two Mussolinis in the European Parliament.

Caio Giulio Cesare is the first cousin once removed of Alessandra Mussolini, the dead fascist leader's granddaughter who has been an MEP since 2014.



Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Benito. Photo: AFP

Born in Argentina, Mussolini has no previous political experience but “obviously I've breathed politics my whole life,” he told the daily.

He described himself to Il Fatto Quotidiano as “a post-fascist who refers to those values in a non-ideological way”.

He said he thought he was chosen as a candidate not for his family name but for his first names, the Italian form of “Gaius Julius Caesar”, as well as his sense of duty and international experience.

READ ALSO: Far-right parties kick off campaigns for Europe election

If elected, he said he would “defend the national interest with all my actions and votes”, in line with the nationalist stance of Fratelli d'Italia.

The party won 4.4 percent of votes in last year's Italian national election, in which is ran as part of a right-wing bloc alongside Matteo Salvini's League party and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia.

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ITALIAN ELECTIONS

Berlusconi to run for Senate in Italy’s elections

Scandal-plagued former premier Silvio Berlusconi said he plans to return to Italy's parliament in upcoming elections, almost a decade after being forced out over a conviction for tax fraud.

Berlusconi to run for Senate in Italy's elections

“I think that, in the end, I will be present myself as a candidate for the Senate, so that all these people who asked me will finally be happy,” the 85-year-old billionaire and media mogul told Rai radio on Wednesday.

After helping bring down Prime Minister Mario Draghi last month by withdrawing its support, Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party looks set to return to power in elections on September 25th.

It is part of a right-wing coalition led by Giorgia Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy, which includes Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration League.

Berlusconi brushed off reports he is worried about the possibility of Meloni – whose motto is “God, country and family” – becoming prime minister.

Noting the agreement between the parties that whoever wins the most votes chooses the prime minister, he said: “If it is Giorgia, I am sure she will prove capable of the difficult task.”

READ ALSO: Italy’s hard right set for election victory after left-wing alliance collapses

But he urged voters to back his party as the moderate voice in the coalition, emphasising its European, Atlanticist stance.

“Every extra vote in Forza Italia will strengthen the moderate, centrist profile of the coalition,” he said in a separate interview published Wednesday in the Il Giornale newspaper.

League party leader Matteo Salvini (L), Fratelli d’Italia leader Giorgia Meloni and Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi pictured in October 2021. The trio look set to take power following snap elections in September. Photo by CLAUDIO PERI / ANSA / AFP

Berlusconi was Italy’s prime minister three times in the 1990s and 2000s, but has dominated public life for far longer as head of a vast media and sports empire.

The Senate expelled him in November 2013 following his conviction for tax fraud, and he was banned from taking part in a general election for six years.

He was elected to the European Parliament in 2019, however, and threw his hat in the ring earlier this year to become Italy’s president — although his candidacy was predictably short-lived.

Berlusconi remains a hugely controversial figure  in Italy and embroiled in the many legal wrangles that have characterised his long career.

He remains on trial for allegedly paying guests to lie about his notorious “bunga-bunga” sex parties while prime minister.

Berlusconi has also suffered a string of health issues, some related to his hospitalisation for coronavirus in September 2020, after which he said he had almost died.

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