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Fascism's Return in Italy: Part II - Even the Vatican thinks they've gone too far

By alina - Posted on 14 May 2009

The Italian equivalent of the House of Representatives just passed an immigration reform law that sends chills down my spine.

Don't get me wrong, immigration reform is desperately needed here, but some COMPLETELY INSANE provisions were snuck into the law by the xenophobic Northern League Party (remember Xavi?) and clearly well accepted by Berlusconi's neofascist government.

I won't bore you with all the gory details, but let me mention the one that freaks me out most of all:

Italian-born children of illegal immigrants will automatically be put up for adoption in Italy, while their parents will be deported. Illegal immigrants are hereby stripped of all parental rights.

This law still has to pass the Senate, which, being even more right-wing than the House, will - barring miracles - pass it.

Speaking of miracles, the Vatican is up in arms about this and a number of other provisions in the law (including one allowing local civilian thug squads to police the streets and rid them of the foreing and/or homeless - homelessness, defined as "occupying, even temporarily, public property" becoming a grave offense under this law).

RFO regulars will probably have figured out by now that I'm no fan of the Ratzinger Vatican (being haunted by images of John Paul II spinning in his grave...). However, I'm pleased that, motivated either by remembering their basic Christian beliefs or by remembering what happens to the Church when a totalitarian State desires no competition, Bishops throughout Italy are crying foul.


This makes my blood run cold, alina.  How can anyone think this is a humane, or even human, thing to do?  I too am glad that the Vatican is taking a stand, as they hold quite a bit of sway in Italy, I would imagine.

I wonder if Xavi will have the cajones to post his real thoughts about this?

According to the Northern League, it would be inhumane to deport the babies with their criminal parents... they're much better off being brought up by well-to-do Italian (preferably Northern Italian) families.

Italy has a negative birth rate. 1.23 kids per couple, according to the latest stats. And it would be a lot lower if you just counted "true blue Italians", since the stats are raised by immigrant families who tend to reproduce at much higher rates. Basically, the "pure Italian" is being replaced by immigrants. At the same time, due to strict restrictions on in-vitro fertilization (thank the Vatican for that one), infertile Italian couples are forced to either get costly treatment abroad or adopt. But with a negative birth rate, there aren't many kids out there to adopt. So, why not steal other people's kids?

This is making me nauseous.

And the EU won't have a saying in all this? They (EU) go after Turkey for human rights violations, and Turkey is not even in the union. I don't see how Italy could get away with this...

The EU is constantly admonishing and fining Italy over a number of things. It's like the rebellious teenager of the family. But this really goes too far, and I'm sure it will get plently of attention on the EU level, especially because opposition to it is not just coming from the usual political opposition but also from the UN, the Vatican and the President.

The President in Italy is more of a figurehead, while PM Berlusconi yields all the power (still not enough, according to changes he's now proposing to the Constitution), but it was nice to see his vocal reaction too, as explained in this New York Times article.

I can't find much detailed info in the foreign press yet, though, and nothing about the adoption issue. The Italian papers are reporting that the administration is now defending the provision as just "an option", that will be considered on a "case by case basis", whatever that means. They're saying the same about the thug squads, or as they call them "civilian anti-crime patrols"

This is just scary, and I hope it's not allowed to advance any further. With xenophobia abounding (fed hugely by alarmist pseudo-news on Berlusconi's TV channels) and his proposed Constitution changes giving him unprecedented levels of power, you know where Berlusconi is going.

Okay, so let me get this straight. The guys who are so very obviously inspired by Mussolini and Hitler are adopting a policy those two would approve wholeheartedly, even though that mindset destroyed Italy, Japan, eastern Europe, and Germany in a savage war?

Why is it that these people don't understand that their philosophy is one of the most destructive ones on this planet?


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

Sounds crazy, doesn't it? The word on the street here is that it's not the philosophy that was wrong, but its past implementations. Berlusconi & Co. are the guys that will finally get it right.

Oh, and Mussolini wasn't that bad.

There is a serious problem with historical revisionism being promoted here by some people who control the media, creating a climate nostalgic of Fascism.

You mean like how Fox News is nostalgic of the Reagan years?

Snark aside, I hope the people understand that any policy following the principles of fascism is doomed to failure-- if not the failure of the Italian state or economy, then the failure of humanity to protect the Italians from another era of terror by an authoritarian state.


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

The people are being systematically reeducated. But as upset as I am about this, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that if they're going to let Berlusconi rewrite the Constitution and let it all happen again, then they'll just get what they wanted.

I'm just keeping all of my passports up to date.

Benito Mussolini II?

Didn't the Italians learn anything from the 1930s and early 1940s? I guess not.


I just found a really good recent article on fascism revival in Italy in the British magazine New Statesman.

From the article:

Until the rise of Silvio Berlusconi in 1994, few would have thought that a major western European country could once again fall under something resembling the spell of fascism. Fifteen years later, Italy is unrecognisable, home to a process of political change that should be watched – and feared – by everyone in Europe...

...The prospect now facing Europe is that one of the founder members of the Common Market, a signatory of the Treaty of Rome, will over the next decade become an increasingly totalitarian state, subject to a kind of creeping fascism. Hitherto, Europe has remained quiet about Italy’s turn away from democracy, treating Berlusconi as a kind of recalcitrant child (though our former prime minister Tony Blair went rather further, and befriended him). With Berlusconi now set to remain in office for the next four years, enjoying ever fewer constraints on his power, Italy is headed down the road to becoming western Europe’s first postwar authoritarian state since the defeat of fascism on the Iberian Peninsula.

First, children of illegal immigrants are not put up for adoption. Is simply not true, except for extreme situations of abandon or maltreatment.

Second, the italian immigration policies are in line with the EU common polices. In fact the EU has not admonished Italy for criminalizing illegal immigration, since it was already criminalized in other member states like Germany.

Third, other european countries have passed tougher immigration laws or are planning to. And Alina knows it. Our neighbour Switzerland makes Bossi and the Lega look like nuns. For example, no more extra-european immigration for low skilled jobs. For example, fine or imprison those who house illegal immigrants.

Fourth, Berlusconi and Sarkozy are making common front in this issue, since France and Italy are gateways to the rest of Europe. Do you consider Sarkozy a fascist? I don´t like Berlusconi but i think this is one of the few things he is doing reasonably well. 

Fifth, the low italian birth rate has a lot to with this monster called Italian Republic and its insane regulations, state monopolies and very high taxes. Alina, let us be free and have the swiss level of taxation!! Things would change quickly


Alina, tell this people the whole story. How a few million citizens heavily subsidize and maintain the rest of the country. How the southern regions have the lowest employment rates in Europe by far. How regions like Calabria evades most taxes and gets much more government money than they pay. Look at this shameful figures:


PD: I´m not a Lega voter. I´m very disappointed since they have become an establishment party. I´m just a secessionist.

Italy is also one of the biggest net contributors to the European Union. Guess who pays the bill




This thread is almost a year old, Xavi.  What's your point in returning to it?

He bumped it up so I could ask you where Alina is. lol

We talked about her awhile ago though. I think she checked in a few months ago but I forget.  

Yes, she checks in every now and then.  I miss her, but know she pops in and out.
because you named me

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