Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has decided to file a lawsuit against the frontman of a British rock band who labeled her a racist and a fascist during a recent show in Italy.
Brian Molko, the lead singer of Placebo, hurled insults about the Italian leader from the stage of the Sonic Park festival in Stupinigi outside Turin on July 11.
“Giorgia Meloni, piece of shit, fascist, racist,” Molko shouted in Italian to the festival crowd, before ending with an obscene remark and then calling for more rights for transgender and non-binary people.
The incident was captured on mobile phone footage posted online.
An investigation was launched on July 17 by the Turin public prosecutor’s office, and it is now understood that Meloni has decided to initiate legal proceedings against Molko for defamation and contempt of Italy’s institutions, Il Giornale reported.
Defamation remains a criminal offense in Italy, and anyone who publicly defames the republic or its public officials and institutions is potentially liable to pay a fine of up to €5,000.
Despite emerging from neo-fascist roots with historic links to the far-right Italian Social Movement, the Brothers of Italy party, headed by Giorgia Meloni, has cemented itself as a mainstream conservative political party in Italy and became the largest party in the country in last year’s election.
Seemingly intent on dispelling any accusations of far-right sympathies, Meloni has sought to establish herself as a moderate on the world stage. Elected on a ticket to cut immigration, new arrivals to Italy have soared under her leadership, while she has toed the Western line on numerous issues relating to Russia and Ukraine, the expansion of NATO, and the controversial EU migration pact.