(Rome) The Italian court has opened an investigation against the singer of the British group Placebo, Brian Molko, who recently called far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on stage a “racist and fascist”, local media reported on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old British-American artist was attending the Sonic Park festival in Stupinigi, near Turin on July 11, when he shouted in front of thousands of spectators: “Giorgia Meloni, you fascist, racist shit, fuck you.” .

Some municipalities have since made it known that they would refuse to allow the group to perform on their territory. The city of Matera announced that it was withdrawing its subsidies to the same festival which is to relocate there, while the mayor of Sassari in Sardinia told him that he would not prevent the group from holding its concert on August 1.

“The municipality of Sassari condemns no one and lectures no one. If Placebo commits obscene, vulgar acts, they will answer to justice, not to the mayor or to the region, “said Nanni Campus, today without a label but yet from the same political movement as Giorgia Meloni.

Paola Ambrogio, a senator from Ms Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia party, slammed “a slap in the face to Italy and democracy”.

“It’s a delicate case, no comment,” the Turin prosecutor in charge of the investigation told AFP.

Article 290 of the Italian penal code punishes with a fine of 1000 to 5000 euros ($1500 to $7500) anyone who “publicly defames the Republic”, but also the Parliament, the government, the constitutional council, the judiciary or the public. ‘army.

Giorgia Meloni, who became head of the Italian government in October 2022, and her party are the heirs of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), a neo-fascist party created after the Second World War from which she took over, when Fratelli d’Italia was founded at the end of 2012, the tricolor flame.

Since taking office, Ms. Meloni has avoided speaking out on the subject, but she still recognized before last year’s legislative elections that dictator Benito Mussolini (1922-1945) had “accomplished a lot”, without exonerating him of his “mistakes”: anti-Jewish laws and going to war.

She also claims that in her party “there is no place for those nostalgic for fascism, nor for racism and anti-Semitism”.

Several people in his political entourage do not hesitate to claim their affiliation with this dark period of Italian history, like the President of the Senate Ignazio La Russa, collector of busts of Mussolini, while insisting on the fact that this fringe of the Italian conservative right to which they belong is democratic and has definitively broken after the war with the authoritarian temptation.