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a secretary of state resigns after having wanted to baptize a park “Mussolini”

Claudio Durigon, member of the Italian government of Mario Draghi, resigned Thursday, August 26, after creating controversy for wanting to give a public garden the name of a brother of Mussolini.

“I have decided to resign”, wrote in an open letter quoted by the media the Secretary of State for the Economy and Finance, who admits to having committed ” errors “ and said to himself “Ready to pay the price”. “I am not a fascist and I never have been”, defends Mr. Durigon.

For three weeks, this faithful among the faithful of Matteo Salvini, whose far-right party, the League, is part of the broad coalition led by Mr. Draghi, had been the subject of calls for resignation for wanting to give in a park in Latina, – a coastal town near Rome for which he is a deputy -, the name of the Duce’s brother, Arnaldo Mussolini.

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Turmoil even in the ranks of the League

The controversy over the opportunity to rename a park dedicated to Sicilian judges Paolo Borsellino and Giovanni Falcone, murdered by the mafia, to give it the name of Arnaldo Mussolini (1885-1931), had stirred both the left and the left. on the right, and even in the League’s own ranks.

The moderate fringe of the League did indeed take a dim view of this kind of thunderous advertisement flirting with fascism and undermining the efforts to demonize the party. Mr. Salvini for his part split Thursday evening a tribute to Mr. Durigon, who “Quit his post for the love of Italy and the League”.

Claudio Durigon, 49, was born in Latina, in the heart of the ex-Pontine marshes, a marshy area about sixty kilometers south of the improved Rome under the fascist era. His grandparents were among the many agricultural workers living in poverty in Veneto (north-east) who were brought there to participate in the sanitation and then exploit the land. The epic of the reclamation of the Pontine marshes was glorified by fascism, which still enjoys a good image with a section of the population of this region.

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Elected MP in 2018, Mr Durigon had been appointed Secretary of State for Social Affairs in the government of Giuseppe Conte, who led a coalition between the 5 Star Movement and the League, before joining Mr Draghi.

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