(London Guardian) There is no hint of embarrassment as the woman clambers on a chair to reach the high shelf of her newspaper kiosk opposite the Italian interior ministry in Rome. “This is just part of the job,” she says as she hands over the final copy of a 2019 calendar dedicated to the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
A flick through from January to December reveals various images of the rotund man known as Il Duce (the Leader): addressing a crowd bare-chested; punching the air in triumph after signing Italy’s 1939 pact with Germany and striding through Rome in military garb.
Nostalgic factions of the Italian population have long helped keep the spirit of Mussolini alive, but thriving rightwing populism has been further dismantling the taboo. Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and leader of the far-right League, sometimes quotes Mussolini, while League supporters have attended rallies carrying signs featuring photographs of the dictator alongside the name Salvini. Marches organised by the neo-fascist groups Forza Nuova and CasaPound have become a regular occurrence.
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