April 6, 2011
Rome, 6 April (AKI) - Five political allies of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi have proposed legislation to Italy's senate that would overturn a 59-year-old law that makes it illegal to reform the Fascist party, founded by Benito Mussolini soon after World War I.
A senator from a rightist opposition party also signed his name to the proposed law submitted for review but was threatened with party expulsion by leader Gianfranco Fini - himself once a neo-Fascist - if he didn't rescind his support for the initiative, according to Italian news reports.
The politicians submitted the law to a senate committee on 29 March, according to news reports.
"Its a worrisome proposal," Roberto Pacifici, leader of the Jewish Community of Rome, said in newspaper Il Messaggero.
A 1952 law makes "apologising" for Fascism a crime in Italy, thus banning the Fascist party in the country where it was founded.
Neo-fascist parties have not hidden their sympathy for Mussolini's political ideas, though they have conspicuously left the world "fascism" out when describing their goals.