Ex-Berlusconi minister defends Anders Behring Breivik

The Guardian reports:

One of Silvio Berlusconi’s former ministers has defended the thinking of the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

Interviewed on a popular radio show, Francesco Speroni, a leading member of the Northern League, the junior partner in Berlusconi’s conservative coalition, said: “Breivik’s ideas are in defence of western civilisation.”

Speroni spoke as other right-wingers around Europe, including leading officials of his own party, distanced themselves from the massacre on Utøya and the ideology that inspired it.

The Italian politician was endorsing the comments of another high-profile member of the league who had drawn fierce criticism for arguing that the killings might have been part of a plot to discredit hardline conservative thinkers. Like many in his party, Mario Borghezio, who sits in the European parliament, is an admirer of the writings of the late Italian journalist and author Oriana Fallaci, who popularised the term Eurabia to describe a future, supposedly Islamised Europe.

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2 thoughts on “Ex-Berlusconi minister defends Anders Behring Breivik

  1. dickerson3870

    RE: “Breivik’s ideas are in defence of western civilisation.” ~ Berlusconi’s former minister Speroni

    MY COMMENT: Westerners like Breivik and Speroni make me suspect that their notion of “western civilization” might be a bit oxymoronic.

  2. hquain

    I don’t think the Guardian has got this one quite right. They refer to “the Northern League [Lega Nord], the junior partner in Berlusconi’s conservative coalition,” evoking the grim spectre of Berlusconi to bring on the chills. Italy, of course, has a parliamentary system, and ruling coalitions can be quite diverse and held together by electoral convenience (think of the current situation in the UK as a particularly weird case).

    The Lega is quite distinct from Berlusconi. It’s an overtly racist, bitterly anti-immigrant anti-southern right-wing movement, whose stated goal is secession from Italy of the northern region (north of the river Po, hence Padania in their lingo), where they have considerable strength. Item: one of their posters pictures an old-school Indian chief-type, comic-book style, full head-dressed, offered as an object of sympathy, with a caption something like “see what happens when you let them in” — i.e., they’ll take your land and put you on reservations.

    It’s no surprise that a big Lega leader should cheer on Breivik — but this has absolutely nothing to do with the reprehensible Berlusconi, who, oddly for a Northern-born billionaire, has his power base in the impoverished South, which is despised by the Lega.

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