Silvio Berlusconi's conservatives suffered a major embarrassment this week as one of their candidates for April elections said he is an unrepentant and lifelong Fascist.
The comments by Giuseppe Ciarrapico, a veteran Rome businessman who is running for a Senate seat, drew quick criticism from center-left politicians and leaders of the Jewish community.
His candidacy was not withdrawn, however, even though some fellow conservatives demanded that he give up running.
"Fascism has given me joys and pains," Ciarrapico, who is in his mid-70s, told Italian daily La Repubblica in an interview published Monday. "I've never renounced it."
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