Mussolini’s granddaughter has lashed out at France’s ‘socialist’ First Lady Carla Bruni for not doing enough for illegal immigrants.
Alessandra Mussolini, an Italian MP and granddaughter of the country’s Second World War fascist leader, said Ms Bruni should welcome Africans displaced by revolutions in Tunisia and Libya into her numerous ‘chateaux’.
Mocking Ms Bruni as a Marie-Antoinette-style Leftist, Ms Mussolini said she should have ‘protested against the shutting of French borders to illegal immigrants decided by her husband’, President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Ms Mussolini, who like Ms Bruni has worked as a model and actress, is angry that the French have not accepted thousands of refugees arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
‘Why doesn’t the first lady welcome immigrants who want to come to France in her chateaux?’ Miss Mussolini told Le Figaro newspaper.
French riot police have turned back many of the immigrants as they try to enter France to claim asylums.
Many are massing in the town of Ventimiglia, which the French media has already likened to Sangatte – the Red Cross Centre in Calais which acted as a magnet to thousands of migrants hoping to reach Britain before being closed in 2002.
Franco Frattini, Italy’s Foreign Minister has already attacked France’s ‘absence of solidarity’ while the EU has said France had no right to ‘send migrants back to Italy’.
Ms Mussolini’s mocking attack on Ms Bruni will add to the controversy, while also illustrating the increasingly chaotic nature of Europe’s immigration policy.
Since the start of the Arab Spring in January, some 20,000 illegal migrants have arrived on Lampedusa, roughly midway between Sicily and Tunisia.
Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi, who is a friend and political ally of Ms Mussolini, has sent ferries to clear the island.
But Ms Bruni, who was born in Italy, dislikes him intensely, saying in 2008 that Mr Berlosconi made her ‘very happy that I have become French’.
Ironically, Ms Bruni’s mutli-millionaire industrialist family had close links with the wartime regime of Benito Mussolini as it built up its fortune.
The family moved to France in the 1970s because of death threats by terrorist groups in post-war Italy.
Despite remaining fabulously rich, Ms Bruni has styled herself as a champagne socialist in the past, although becoming Mr Sarkozy’s third wife three years ago has drawn her further to the right.
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