Galeazzo Bignami a lawmaker for the right-wing Brothers of Italy party who sparked outrage in 2016 after a newspaper published a photo of him wearing a Nazi swastika on his left arm, was named the country’s junior infrastructure minister on Monday.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who personally announced Bignami’s appointment at a press conference, is the leader of the Brothers of Italy, a group that has its roots in the post-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI).
Bignami, 47, was elected last month to a second term in parliament. He has long been part of the Italian far-right, but spent part of his political career at Forza Italia, owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
He said in a statement on Monday that he felt “deep shame” over the photos and firmly condemned “any form of totalitarianism”, calling Nazism and any movement linked to it “absolute evil”.
Meloni has not commented on the 2016 photo, but has repeatedly condemned the infamous racist and anti-Jewish laws enacted by dictator Benito Mussolini in 1938 and last week told parliament that he “never felt sympathy for fascism”.
“I have always considered the (anti-Semitic) racial laws of 1938 the lowest point in Italian history, a shame that will stain our people forever,” she told parliament.
Bignami will serve under the leader of the League’s right-wing party, Matteo Salvini, who is the infrastructure minister and deputy prime minister.
Source: CNN Brasil
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