MPs give 92-year-old Liliana Segre, the only member of her Jewish family to survive Auschwitz, a standing ovation nearly 100 years after Mussolini came to power.
The first session of the new Italian parliament opened with a moving speech by a Holocaust survivor after a far-right party won general elections last month.
Liliana Segre, a 92-year-old senator for life, was the only member of her Jewish family to survive the Auschwitz concentration camp. She reminded parliamentarians of the upcoming centenary of the mass demonstration and coup that brought fascist leader Benito Mussolini to power.
“In this month of October, which marks the centenary of the March on Rome that began the fascist dictatorship, it is my responsibility to temporarily assume the presidency of this temple of democracy, which is the Senate of the Republic,” he said. Secret in a low voice. camera.
“It is impossible for me not to feel a kind of vertigo when remembering that the same girl who, on a day like this in 1938, disconsolate and lost, was forced by racist laws to leave her desk empty in elementary school, is now, by a strange twist of destiny, in the most prestigious desk of the Senate”.
Segre’s speech was greeted with a standing ovation from the 200 parliamentarians present, including the newly elected president of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, who once flashed his memories of Mussolini.
La Russa, a senior member of incoming Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, was elected speaker of the upper house on Thursday despite a revolt within the right-wing coalition that won the general election.
Political sources have said that forming the coalition cabinet has been unexpectedly difficult with leaders demanding positions for their parties that Meloni has been unwilling to concede.
Meloni and his allies, the Anti-Immigrant League, led by Matteo Salvini, and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia group, face a daunting task with the economy teetering on the brink of recession, energy prices soaring, and the war in Ukraine still raging. grade.