Rome

Former neo-Fascist leader Rauti dies

Ex-Mussolini diehard ran MSI before defeat by Fini

Former neo-Fascist leader Rauti dies

Rome, November 2 - Pino Rauti, former leader of Italy's main postwar neo-Fascist party, the Italian Social Movement, (MSI), died in Rome at 86 Friday. Rauti, a diehard soldier in Benito Mussolini's puppet regime of Salo', joined the MSI in 1946 and was its leader off and on until 1987 when he was defeated by Gianfranco Fini who gradually moved the party into mainstream politics as the National Aliance. Fini, now House Speaker, eventually became first an ally and later a party colleague of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi before an acrimonious split two years ago. Rauti, a rightist intellectual, was at various times linked to extremist tendencies and even terrorism but the claims never stuck. His daughter is married to Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, a leading member of Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party. photo: Rauti in 2004

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