Fifty thousand supporters of the right-wing Italian Social Movement (M.S.I.) - the party dubbed as?
Fifty thousand supporters of the right-wing Italian Social Movement (M.S.I.) - the party dubbed as "neo-fascist" by its opponents - paraded in Rome on Saturday (18 March) in a show of strength as the party opened its campaign for the general election in early May.
Later they were addressed at a mass meeting in the Piazza del People by party secretary Giorgio Almirante. Signor Almirante took the opportunity to introduce the party's latest acquisition, Admiral Gino Birindelli, until recently commander of the NATO Mediterranean fleet.
Admiral Birindelli, who was expelled from Malta last year by Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, announced on 15 March that he had given up his naval career to devote himself to politics and would be standing as MSI's leading candidate in Naples.
In his speech, Signer Almirante called on admiral Birindelli to "look upon this platform as the deck of a ship called Italy". The admiral said recently he feared that if Italy's socialist and communists won the election on a common front, the country might pass from NATO to the Warsaw Pact.
SYNOPSIS: In Italy, election fever has struck Rome as the parties open their campaigns for the general election in May. On Saturday, fifty thousand supporters of the right-wing Italian social Movement paraded in the capital in a show of strength. Its opponents describe the party as "neo-fascist".
Later, the cheering crowd was addressed by Giorgio Amirante, the party secretary He promised his supporters a landslide victory in the forthcoming election, called ahead of time after the collapse of the centre-left coalition government.
Signor Almirante took the opportunity to introduce his party's latest acquisition, Admiral Gino Birindelli, former commander of the NATO military fleet. The admiral announced recently that he would lead the party campaign in Naples in order to protect Italy's commitment to the western alliance. Signor Almirante called on the admiral to look upon his platform as the deck of a ship called Italy.