Italy’s newly elected Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni looks on during the swearing-in ceremony at the Quirinale Presidential Palace, in Rome, Italy October 22, 2022
Galeazzo Bignami, a lawmaker of the rightist Brothers of Italy party who sparked outrage in 2016 after a newspaper published a picture of him wearing a Nazi swastika on his left arm, was named junior infrastructure minister on Monday.
Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who personally announced Bignami’s appointment at a news conference, is the leader of Brothers of Italy, a group which traces its roots to the post-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI).
Bignami, 47, was elected last month to a second term in parliament. He has long been part of the Italian hard-right but has spent part of his political career in former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s more moderate Forza Italia.
He said in a statement on Monday that he felt “profound shame” for the pictures and firmly condemned “any form of totalitarianism,” calling Nazism and any movement connected to it “the absolute evil”.