Letter: Italian and Spanish styles of Fascism

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The Independent Online
Sir: While David Johnson is correct in the strictest sense (letter, 17 May), your original article, 'Berlusconi picks three Fascists' (11 May), which prompted his reply, has to be closer to the political reality. Franco's regime had never been a legitimate electoral one and by 1974, well before that time in fact, the Movimiento was an embarrassing and almost irrelevant political system that was sitting uncomfortably on top of a diversifying and modern economy.

By then, the Spanish cabinet consisted mostly of technocrats who, though having to pay lip service to the regime in order to be accepted, had managed to turn Spain into about the 10th industrial power in the world. Those who continued after Franco's death were also responsible for dismantling the remnants of the Movimiento from within and for largely contributing to a peaceful transition to democracy.

Against that, it should give concern that Mr Berlusconi had thought it to be either fit or necessary to bring into his cabinet members who had been elected to the Italian Parliament freely and unequivocally under the banner of fascism, even if they are of the 'Neo' variety.

Yours sincerely,


London, SW16