Movimento Sociale Italiano

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Movimento Sociale Italiano
Party executive Gianfranco Fini (Presidente, 1991–1995)
founding December 26, 1946
resolution January 27, 1995 (published in: Alleanza Nazionale )
ideology Neo-fascism
Headquarters ItalyItaly Rome , Via della Scrofa 43

The Movimento Sociale Italiano ( German  Italian Social Movement , abbreviated MSI ) was a neo-fascist Italian party that was founded on December 26, 1946 by fighters of the Italian Social Republic (including Giorgio Almirante ) and individual leaders of the Partito Fascista Repubblicano (including Pino Romualdi ). In 1947, the party symbol became the flame in the Italian national colors ( fiamma tricolore ). In 1995, the MSI was merged with the moderately performing Alleanza Nazionale .

Early years

The party, which was initially supported by the fascist General Rodolfo Graziani , ran for the first time in national elections in 1948 , in which it won 2% of the vote in the House of Representatives and 0.8% in the Senate elections.

After the dissolution of the Uomo Qualunque political grouping , the party's popularity increased, especially in southern Italy, where the big landowners promoted it in response to the occupations of their land and the unrest of the peasants who supported the PCI .

The MSI was basically divided into two main currents: in the north, the supporters oriented themselves more towards the “social” program of the RSI , in the south, on the other hand, a national-conservative wing, closely connected with the monarchist camp, dominated (a third tendency soon followed that followed based on the writings of Julius Evola ). This division became more apparent when, in the following elections, the proportion of votes in the south was twice as high as in the north - with individual top results of 15%, especially in Naples , Lecce , Catania and Reggio Calabria . In the 1950s, the MSI formed a coalition with the monarchists (Naples, Caserta , Lecce, Bari , Foggia , Reggio Calabria, Catania, Latina , Pescara , Campobasso and Salerno ) on the municipal councils of various Italian cities , which de facto legalized the party. In 1950, CISNAL was also founded, a party affiliated union, headed by Giovanni Roberti , a member of the MSI.

After the MSI had received 5.8% of the vote in the parliamentary elections in 1953 , Arturo Michelini became chairman of the party. Under his chairmanship, the party supported accession to the North Atlantic Pact and, since 1960, the minority government under the leadership of the Christian Democrat Fernando Tambroni . The opposition interpreted this unofficial alliance as the beginning of an authoritarian jolt by the government, which embarrassed them. The DC urged Tambroni to resign as it was severely weakened by the clashes with the other parties that threatened to upset all of Italy. Contrary to expectations, President Giovanni Gronchi refused to resign, mainly because, in view of the heated political climate, no other Christian Democrat was willing to replace Tambroni and form a new government.

The MSI remained an important pillar of this government. By holding a congress in Genoa, the party wanted to get general attention. Since the city wore the Resistancea Medal of Valor , the party's decision to hold the Congress there was viewed as a provocation. Furthermore, the fascist ex-prefect Basile was appointed President of the Congress, who was under suspicion of collaboration with the National Socialists . As a result, the protest in Liguria resulted in demonstrations and strikes. Between June and July 1960, there were violent clashes with law enforcement officials throughout the rest of Italy . Foreign units of the Carabinieri and the riot police were called to Genoa , some of whom were confronted by violent demonstrators (some coordinated by Sandro Pertini and other representatives of the resistance). The protesters got the upper hand, the police were forced to negotiate and a political solution was found to restore order to the city: the MSI was banned from holding its congress. The following clashes between right and left groups, especially in Reggio nell'Emilia , Rome and Palermo, were no less violent and claimed about ten lives.

Constitutional enemies

Giorgio Almirante reads the party newspaper Il Secolo (1971)

After the end of this legislature, the MSI was excluded from the ranks of center-right parties as a result of the events in Genoa. The return of Giorgio Almirante , a proven fascist and previously Secretary General of the party, did not change this situation either. In the public debate, the phrase arco costituzionale ("constitutional arch ") was coined, to which the MSI did not belong (the phrase referred to anti-fascist values, which are anchored in the Italian constitution of 1946). For the following years, the MSI was therefore excluded from Italian politics - with the exception of legally guaranteed rights such as participation in elections.

Almirante used the marginalization on the part of the other parties to work with other groups on the right. With them he wanted to form a secret alliance positioned between the Christian Democrats and the left . With the increasing recognition of the MSI by the center-left parties and the rapprochement with the ideas of the "historical compromise", this claim of the opposition was increasingly recognized. The MSI changed its name to Movimento Sociale Italiano - Destra Nazionale ("Italian Social Movement - National Rights").

In July 1970, the MSI participated in the " Reggio Incidents " when the Calabrian city ​​resisted government plans to move the region's seat of government to Catanzaro . The opposition was initially carried out by the left, but Francesco Franco (known as Ciccio Franco , in German "Dickerchen Franco"), a functionary of the neo-fascist union CISNAL, coined the slogan boia chi molla ("He who backs away is a traitor") and organized a rally of the right, which degenerated into a veritable uprising with street barricades and armed clashes with the police. The riot was only ended in February of the following year by the use of armored vehicles in the city. In the local elections held in July 1971, the party received high results in the region despite the tense situation: 23% in Catania and 21% in Reggio.

In the elections of 1972, in which the MSI ran alongside the monarchists , he received 8.7% of the vote. In the 1970s, support for the party rose sharply among Italian youth. The armed struggle on the streets between the opposti estremisti , the so-called "opposite extremists", intensified. The Fronte della Gioventù , the party's youth organization, fought against the FGCI , the powerful youth organization of the Communists. The extreme fringes of the two organizations had contacts with armed gangs and terrorist groups.

There were dozens of bloody clashes between young people, which were discussed in the mass media and in public, which is why the MSI gained inglorious notoriety. The party was split at this time between the majority around Giorgio Almirante and a considerable more radical current under the leadership of Pino Rauti , who had played an important role in the "Calabrian uprising". A part split off from which a party called Democrazia Nazionale developed, which did not survive long.

MSI's share of votes in the 1983 general election

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the MSI organized campaigns (for example, in the referendum on divorce), the demands of which corresponded to those of the Catholic Church . The aim was to withdraw votes from the Democrazia Cristiana and to form a “coalition of moralism” which should be in opposition to the positions of the Partito Radicale and the PSI . Moral decline, embezzlement and corruption in government and administration were also denounced. The MSI also tried repeatedly to win voters among the military, some of whom were close to the party. Various representatives of the armed forces and the secret services (for example Vito Miceli or Giuseppe Santovito ) were involved in scandals because they attended secret boarding schools of the MSI.

In the European elections in 1984 they were able to win a mandate with 6.5% and together with the Front National they founded the parliamentary group of the European right . However, they left this again after the European elections in 1989 when the German republicans entered the European Parliament and there were disputes over the South Tyrol issue.

At the national level, the results of the MSI did not improve: the party's election results even shrank over the course of the decade, after all it received less than 6% of the vote in the 1987 elections.

Image change, renaming and inheritance

After this failure in the elections and Almirante's death, Gianfranco Fini , Pino Rauti and, since 1991, Fini again took turns in the chairmanship of the party. The early 1990s were a time of upheaval for the party, marked by an identity crisis and the risk of its complete disappearance after the referendum on the introduction of majority voting in 1993. The party's propaganda at the time was a return to the fascist past marked. This is evidenced by Fini's promise from 1991 to realize the “fascism of the year 2000”, the appearance in the parliamentary elections in 1992 with the candidate Alessandra Mussolini , the granddaughter of the Duce , but also at the commemorations for the seventieth anniversary of the march Rome . In addition, the MSI rode on the wave of protest against the political system, for example through the unconditional support for the then President Francesco Cossiga . After the Tangentopoli system was blown, the MSI led an aggressive campaign against the then five-party system and the alleged “thieves in the government” and declared its support for the investigation “ Mani pulite ”.

The party's high performance in the 1993 regional elections, in which the MSI succeeded in becoming the strongest party in Rome and Naples , and in second place in numerous smaller municipalities, was a sign of a change in political course. Gianfranco Fini began a policy of reforming the party, also supported by the founding of the populist Forza Italia party under Silvio Berlusconi . For the parliamentary election in March 1994 , the MSI ran for the first time under the name Alleanza Nazionale - at the suggestion of MP Giuseppe Tatarella and the conservative-monarchist politics professor Domenico Fisichella . In central and southern Italy, the MSI made agreements with Forza Italia as part of the center-right alliance Polo del Buon Governo in order to increase the chances of receiving direct mandates based on majority voting. The MSI was able to triple its share of the vote to 13.4% and the number of its MPs to 110.

After the election victory of the Berlusconi-led alliance, the MSI became part of the center-right majority government, which also included the Lega Nord . In the Berlusconi I cabinet , the MSI / Alleanza Nazionale provided a deputy prime minister - Giuseppe Tatarella - and five ministers (agriculture, transport, post, culture and the environment). In order to distance themselves from the fascist past, these were not top representatives of the previous MSI, but came from the second row or had only joined the party in the course of the change in 1994/95. Post Minister Tatarella, however, used his office to honor the fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile with a stamp.

Shortly after the collapse of the Berlusconi government in January 1995, Fini declared the MSI experience over. At the party congress in Fiuggi from January 25th to 29th, 1995, he founded the Alleanza Nazionale , which became the legal successor to the MSI and continued to use the three-colored flame with the letters "MSI" in its logo. After this party congress, the change from the neo-fascist MSI to the national conservative mass party Alleanza Nazionale is referred to as svolta di Fiuggi ("Wende von Fiuggi") - analogous to the svolta della Bolognina , through which the communists had transformed into "left- wing democrats " five years earlier .

Pino Rauti , the leader of the movement-fascist wing of the party, did not want to support this change, which he viewed as a "denial of his own history". Shortly after the Fiuggi Congress, he and his colleagues founded a new political party called Movimento Sociale-Fiamma Tricolore , which continued the neo-fascist tradition of the MSI. Only in South Tyrol did the successor party Unitalia emerge under Donato Seppi . Alessandra Mussolini left the Alleanza Nazionale in 2003 and founded the Azione Sociale after Fini had described fascism as “part of the epoch of absolute evil” on a visit to Israel.

After the merger of Alleanza Nazionale and Forza Italia in 2009, former MSI members were mainly to be found in the center-right rallying party Il Popolo della Libertà (PdL) (which Alessandra Mussolini's Azione Sociale also joined). In 2010, the supporters of Gianfranco Finis split off from this as Futuro e Libertà per l'Italia (FLI). Another spin-off with significant participation of former MSI members (led by Giorgia Meloni and Ignazio La Russa ) is the Fratelli d'Italia party , which was formed at the end of 2012 and which also included the green-white-red flame in its logo at the beginning of 2014.


Giorgi Almirante (center, standing) and Gianfranco Fini (left) at an event organized by Fronte della Gioventù (1981)

Party congresses

  • 27.-29. June 1948 in Naples
  • June 28–1. July 1949 in Rome
  • 26.-28. July 1952 in L'Aquila
  • 9-11 January 1954 in Viareggio
  • 24.-26. November 1956 in Milan
  • 2-4 August 1963 in Rome
  • 12-14 June 1965 in Pescara
  • 20.-23. November 1970 in Rome
  • 18.-21. January 1973 in Rome
  • 13-16 January 1977 in Rome
  • 5th-7th October 1979 in Naples
  • 18.-21. February 1982 in Rome
  • November 29–2. December 1984 in Rome
  • 11-14 December 1987 in Sorrento
  • 11-14 January 1990 in Rimini
  • 25-29 January 1995 in Fiuggi (decided to transform the party into the Alleanza Nazionale )

Former MSI members in successor parties

See also


Web links

Commons : Movimento Sociale Italiano  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Eckhard Römer: Italian media language. Manual. 2nd edition, De Gruyter Recht, Berlin 2009, p. 172.
  2. ^ Nicola Rao: La fiamma e la celtica. Sperling & Kupfer, Milan 2006, p. 310.
  3. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016, p. 269.
  4. ^ Eckhard Römer: Italian media language. Manual. 2nd edition, De Gruyter Recht, Berlin 2009, p. 172.
  5. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016, p. 284.
  6. ^ Giorgio Mezzalira: A passo di tartaruga. La nuova estrema destra italiana in Alto Adige. In: Günther Pallaver, Giorgio Mezzalira: The identity intoxication. Right-wing extremism in South Tyrol. Edition Raetia, Bozen 2019.
  7. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016, p. 287.
  8. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016, pp. 128–130.
  9. Markus K. Grimm: The problematic reinvention of the Italian right. The Alleanza Nazionale and its way to the center. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2016, pp. 131–132.