March on Rome 100 years on

Friday October 28 marks the centenary of Mussolini's March on Rome, which brought Italy's National Fascist Party to power in 1922. A few days after the swearing-in of the new Italian government under the post-fascist Giorgia Meloni, commentators ask what remains of Mussolini's spirit in Italy and Europe - and why.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Suppressed and trivialised

Unfortunately Italy is incapable of coming to terms with its past, La Repubblica admonishes:

“October 28 is the day of national shame for Italy. ... The problem is that in Italy, unlike in other countries, there is no collective awareness of this date's connection with our national history. As if the transition from liberal to fascist state had been a simple change of season. ... As if the country had surrendered to this experience and then detached itself from it, without fully grasping its significance or its impact on Italian history. The cultural trivialisation of fascism that has gone on for twenty years has been accompanied by a devaluation of anti-fascism, which is now seen as a purely ideological superstructure that serves the interests of the Communist Party.”

El País (ES) /

Beware of the new fascists

El País examines what remains of Mussolini's legacy and what has changed:

“Today people often talk about the return of fascism to explain phenomena like Giorgia Meloni. ... The brutal violence introduced by the Duce cannot be directly transferred to what is happening today. ... If fascism was a sword, then this sword has become blunted and turned into a viscous mass which, aided by fear, is colonising the consciousness of more and more people. ... There will be no more blows or shots, but 'the moral conscience, the mentality and even people's most intimate feelings' will be deformed [as historian Emilio Gentile writes]. ... And this is not only worrying, but also dangerous.”