The story of some fascist parties running for the Italian election was all over the international news just a couple of weeks ago. During the electoral campaign this new wave of fascism and anti-fascism movements created a tense climate in the boot-shaped peninsula. Here’s a snapshot of who these fascist parties are and what happened to them during the Italian elections.
Who are the fascist parties?
Although the League may look like an extremist right-wing party, especially when its leader Salvini was shouting about razing Gypsy’s camps and praising Mussolini, they are not the party bringing on the fascist propaganda. There are two parties that want to bring some of the fascism values and Mussolini’s ideology back and fit it into Italian democracy.
CasaPound was born in 2003 as a movement. They occupied council houses and live by the words of Ezra Pound, 20th century poet and supporter of Mussolini, therefore the name Casa (meaning house) Pound. They define themselves as the fascists of the 21st century, meaning they program is inspired by some of the fascist values, but they want to apply them into a more modern and democracy context. Their main ideas are to take Italy out of the EU, to create an Italian currency and to put an immediate stop to immigration. They aim to a total control of the state on matters as pensions, schools and big industries in the main sectors such as iron, energy and transport.
Forza Nuova is a more traditional fascist party. Their three core ideas are taken directly from Mussolini’s ideology: God, patriotism and family. They want Catholicism to be the state religion, which is not in the program of CasaPound, but apart from this they share some of the same views: migrants out of Italy and Italy out of the EU.
Their slogan is similar as well: “Italians first” for CasaPound, “Italy for Italians” for Forza Nuova. As the migration crisis continues, this attitude has made them quite popular in the small communities who really felt the impact of this phenomenon.
What do they want?
They want to raise their popularity and protest against the “establishment”. This according to CasaPound candidate, Simone Di Stefano, who broke the conventional political silence to declare in a live Facebook video that they are the only useful vote against the old parties and the technocratic government. “Vote for us. If only to see the faces of our opponents when we get into the Parliament.”
How did they do in these elections?
In order to gain a seat in Parliament, they needed to get a minimum of 3%. CasaPound didn’t get over 0.94% and Forza Nuova reached only 0.38%. It may not seem a great result, but they’ve actually tripled their number of votes compared to the 2013 elections, when CasaPound got 0.14% and Forza Nuova barely scratched 0.04%. It’s also important to remember that these parties weren’t running in all the Italian regions in the same way as the main parties, and they weren’t supported by any mainstream media. Acknowledging the defeat, both of the parties declared that they will run again for the next elections.
How did the parties’ candidates reacted to the results?
Luca Leardini is the Forza Nuova candidate to the Chamber of Deputies in Padova. According to him the party was obviously disappointed by the outcome, but he said that “they will keep on fighting”. CasaPound Chamber candidate in Pordenone, Luca Franceschini said that they were of course disappointed of not getting even close to the desired 3%, but they did pretty well on the local vote. “I got around 2’200 votes. CasaPound was the most voted after the mainstream parties like Lega and 5 Stelle.” The party leader, Simone Di Stefano blamed the outcome on the Italian media, that according to him was censoring them. However, this won’t stop them from planning the run for the next elections. According to Mr Franceschini, CasaPound is growing every years in numbers and means.” We will definitely get in the Parliament for the next elections.”