Italian minister in row over apparent fascist salute

By
June 17, 2009 20:21

Italy's tourism minister faced calls for her resignation Wednesday after a video posted by an Italian newspaper apparently showed her making a fascist salute. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, a former beauty queen and close ally of Premier Silvio Berlusconi who was made tourism minister weeks ago, said she was "astounded" at the accusations. The video was posted on the Web site of the left-leaning newspaper La Repubblica. It shows Brambilla attending a ceremony in honor of the Carabinieri's Paramilitary police in the northern city of Lecco earlier this month, according to La Repubblica. The video shows the 41-year-old Brambilla listening to Italy's national anthem with her right arm folded on her heart. As the anthem ends, she extends her right arm upward in what appears to be a salute used by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his followers. Brambilla said she was just greeting the crowd.


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