The New Empty Box of the Left

Politics - April 3, 2024


The new empty box of the Italian left is called Ilaria Salis. In the last political elections of 2022, it was named Aboubakar Soumahoro, elected within the ranks of the Green Alliance and the Left. For the upcoming European elections scheduled for next June, the new hero is claimed by the Democratic Party. Elly Schlein, leader of the center-left formation, has come up with a new great idea: to nominate her as the lead candidate in the island constituency (Sardinia and Sicily).

It is necessary to make a premise: seeing a defendant in chains and dragged before a court of justice in a democratic country cannot please anyone, least of all a conservative. At the same time, however, it is unacceptable the way it is being portrayed by the Italian press and the center-left politics of the Bel Paese. “We must clarify – wrote the spokesperson of the Hungarian government Zoltan Kovacs on X – that no one, no extreme left-wing group, should see Hungary as some sort of boxing ring where they can come and plan to beat someone to death.” In the same tweet, there is also a dig at those who daily demand intervention in the Salis case directly forgetting that, fortunately, the judiciary and political power are separate entities even in Hungary. For this reason, he emphasized that no direct request from the Italian government or any other significant news organization to the Hungarian government will make it easier to defend Salis’ cause.” The motivation is clear: in modern democracies, the government is independent from the courts and has no control over them, and vice versa. These words come after the Budapest Court rejected the request for house arrest for Salis. The reason is the strong risk that he might flee or go into hiding. The Prosecutor, furthermore, is asking for an 11-year sentence. The Hungarian spokesperson clarifies that it was not a crime committed on a whim but “a well-considered and planned act” in which “they nearly killed people in Hungary, and now she is portrayed as a martyr.”

Perhaps it is worth remembering what she is accused of (not yet convicted) and what her ideological and moral responsibilities are. Salis was in Budapest on February 11, 2023. Why? Because that day neo-Nazi groups from all over Europe gather to celebrate the Nazi troops killed by the Soviets. One thing is to condemn, even in a decisive and harsh manner, the rally, verbally and by demonstrating against it. Another thing is to go to the Hungarian capital with the intention of killing other people. Furthermore, Salis herself is not “a Sunday anti-fascist” but when she was arrested she was in the company of two other German militants who were members of the “Hammer Gang,” an anti-fascist criminal gang that in Germany has brutally attacked dozens of far-right militants. It is worth remembering that at the time of the police arrest, the woman, described in Italy as an innocent teacher who happened to be in Hungary by chance, was found in possession of a retractable baton similar to those used in other assaults. Her justification? Self-defense. Well, but self-defense against whom?

No one here is holding a trial and considering Salis guilty, this will be decided by the Hungarian judiciary. However, it is good to remember certain things, especially when there are upcoming democratic elections and some political genius thinks of sanctifying her and nominating her. But then, is the tough and pure Ilaria Salis ready to betray all her ideals for a candidacy in Europe? And does the “stateswoman” Elly Schlein really have no one better? Or perhaps the only interest of the Democratic Party is not to protect its fellow countrywoman but to instrumentalize her to attack the Meloni government? The difference between right and left is well explained by this story. No ideas and projects but only flags to be placed in opposition to a worldview made of values ​​carried forward with planning and militancy.