Two days ago European Parliament President Antonio Tajani gave an interview on Italian radio. During the interview Tajani made some positive comments on Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime.

“Before the war, Mussolini did positive things. Until the war and the alliance with Hitler, until the race laws, apart from the dramatic assassination of Giacomo Matteotti, Mussolini did good things like infrastructure,” Tajani said.

There were immediate reactions and many politicians accused him of attempting to normalise fascism.

GUE/NGL asked his resignation.

In a Statement issued today European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani offers his apologies.

“As a convinced anti-fascist, I apologise to all those who may have been offended by what I said, which in no way intends to justify or play down an anti-democratic and totalitarian regime. I am deeply saddened that, despite my personal and political history, some may feel that I would choose to be lenient with regards to fascism,” he stated.

“I have always been whole-heartedly anti-fascist. I have always stressed that Mussolini and fascism were the darkest chapters in the history of the past century, without any distinction. I have always fought against any form of dictatorship or totalitarianism. As I said with great resolve last October in the plenary chamber, Europe was built upon the defeat of fascism and it is the strongest bulwark against any form of totalitarianism,” Tajani concluded.