ROME (May. 23)
Parliament today began a debate on a recommendation to strip neo-fascist leader Giorgio Almirante of his parliamentary immunity so that he can be tried in a criminal court. Almirante faces a charge of resurrecting fascism with his ultra-right Italian Social Movement (MSI). Italy’s fourth largest political force with 2.8 million votes in the 1972 general election, 56 deputies and 26 senators.
The Italian constitution and a 1952 special law ban the resurgence of fascism under any shape or name. But Almirante says his movement is a “law and order” party and has declared he will welcome a trial in order to clear it of the fascist taint. Some political commentators said that if Almirante is acquitted, he will receive a hefty propaganda boost.
A Parliamentary committee voted 15-3 last night to recommend Almirante’s trial. Those voting against included two neo-fascists and a Christian Democrat. Debate in the Parliament itself is expected to last at least two days. The Senate already has stripped immunity from two of its neo-fascist members, including Francesco (Ciccio) Franco, leader of the right-wing revolt in Southern Reggio Calabria.