Italian opposition scream bad after Meloni crackdown on raves

Italian opposition scream bad after Meloni crackdown on raves


The Italian opposition has expressed fears for public liberties after the new far-right government increased fines and jail terms against organizers and supporters of illegal rave parties.

At the first meeting of the new cabinet on Monday, the bill was passed, raising fears that it could be used arbitrarily to ban any kind of public demonstration.

“That’s a big mistake. Raves have no place in such a document. This challenges public liberties,” Democratic Party secretary and former Prime Minister Enrico Letta posted on Twitter.

Writer Erri di Luca saw a “serious threat to open and free music shows”.

On Monday, police seized 150,000 euros (dollars) worth of audio equipment when they intervened at a rave in the northern city of Modena.

A day earlier, police failed to take action against 2,000 people who had gathered in Benito Mussolini’s birthplace of Predappio to commemorate Italy’s fascist dictator.

“Who decides what is dangerous? A rave or a gathering of black shirts that insult our constitution,” Democratic MP Ilenia Malavasi asked on Tuesday.

For LGBT fighter Dario Accolla, “they just want to ban demonstrations.”

Opposition leaders also attacked the government’s priorities after ministers at the opening cabinet meeting, amid calls to help families and businesses deal with rising inflation, opted instead to allow thousands of suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work and single out the organizers of rave parties.

– ‘The party is over’ –

Government officials have backed the reform, which would see organizers of illegal parties of more than 50 people who may endanger public safety or health face up to six years in prison and fines of €10,000.

“The party is over,” tweeted Matteo Salvini, party leader of the Anti-Immigrant League and Minister of Infrastructure.

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi said similar laws are “already in force in other countries”.

The new law would save money locally and for the state by allowing such gatherings to be shut down quickly, he added.

The minister went on to explain that the Modena rave and the Predappio meeting were “two completely different things”.

“Predappio is a demonstration that has been going on for many years. There was a complaint from the property owner for the rave party,” he said.

On Monday, the opposition also condemned the appointment to government of a far-right MP who was once photographed wearing a Nazi armband bearing a swastika.

Galeazzo Bignami, elected to Parliament on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s list of post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), has been appointed Deputy Infrastructure Minister.

The 47-year-old lawyer was photographed wearing a Nazi armband at a party in 2005.

Meloni last month became Italy’s first woman to lead a government after her party won first place in September’s general election.

She has tried to distance herself from this Mussolini legacy without giving it up entirely.

When asked about the neo-fascist march in Predappio, Meloni told Italian reporters: “You know what I think politically, that’s very far from me.”

Their coalition government is the most right-wing to have taken office in Rome since World War II, and includes Salvini’s Liga and ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Forza Italia.

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