With reference to Peter Popham's article on Gianfranco Fini ("Il Duce's disciple", 25 March), my recollection is that the "old" Movimento Sociale Italiano, the neo-fascist organisation that Fini disbanded in January, was, in fact, in a government coalition once before, about 30 years ago, with the Christian Democrats, whom Fini now seeks to replace as the right- wing alternative, and that state funds helped to publish the neo-fascist magazines like Azione. It was around that time that I was handed a gruesome booklet edited by Pino Rauti, an MSI-hardliner, filled with pictures of FLN atrocities against harkis in Algeria.
Mr Popham takes Rauti to task for opposing a "world financial and trading system, in which big capitalists and bankers grow ever fatter on the Third World's slave labour". If, however, someone on the Radical Left of Italian politics had said that, I suspect we would be hailing his new but increasingly refreshing vision, an initiative likely to make a third alternative to capitalist rapacity and community cruelty increasingly fashionable in European debate.
London SW6Reuse content