Fascist salutes long a public taboo have made their way out of the hooligan sections of football stadiums and into Italy’s city streets.
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A banner emblazoned with the words "Honor to Mussolini," unfurled just steps from the Milan piazza where the fascist dictator's body was hung upside down after his 1945 execution.leader of the right-wing party leading in the Italian polls, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has faced criticism for perceived complacency toward neo-fascist extremists in his bid to see his once regionally based League party finish No. 1 in Italy, and perhaps Europe, when Italians vote Sunday.Salvini, who has attracted the admiration of European far-right leaders for his anti-immigrant, anti-Islam stances, makes a show of dismissing extremist labels and the existence of fascist ideology on the Italian political spectrum.Salvini drew criticism last month when he skipped April 25 Liberation Day commemorations in Rome marking Italy's 1945 liberation from the fascist rule of Benito Mussolini, who spent the last two years of World War II overseeing a puppet republic in Nazi-occupied northern Italy.Salvini, recognizing the power of Mussolini's image, recently addressed a European election rally in the northern city of Forli from a balcony once used by the fascist dictator.
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