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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Italy’s Far Right Salutes Putin for Anti-Gay Law and Support for Assad

As the Reuters Rome correspondent Naomi O’Leary reported, “I’m With Putin” posters have appeared around the Italian capital in the past week, saluting the Russian president for his opposition to homosexuality, the Syrian rebels and the European Union.

The posters direct viewers to the Facebook page of the National Front, a far-right, fringe party led by Adriano Tilgher. In a statement posted there, Mr. Tilgher hailed President Vladimir V. Putin’s “courageous positions against the powerful gay lobby” and “the world’s financial centers, which want war in Syria.” The Italian rightists, he explained, wanted to express their complete agreement with Mr. Putin on three points: ” ‘no’ to military intervention in Syria, ‘no’ to homosexual propaganda and adoptions by gay couples, and ‘no’ to the European Union.”

“Putin is one of the few European leaders with a clear idea of ​​what would be best for Europe,” Mr. Tilgher told Agenzia Stampa Italia. He went on to praise President Bashar al-Assad of Syria for remaining true to the ideology of Arab nationalism “that has always been a bastion of defense against Islamic fundamentalism.”

As the Roman daily La Repubblica reported, a lesbian activist and politician, Imma Battaglia, responded with a call to tear down the posters and “free Rome from the fascists and Russia from Putin.”