A tech boss appointed by Italy's prime minister resigned after quoting a speech from fascist dictator Mussolini in an internal email

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  • The boss of an Italian state-owned tech firm resigned after quoting Mussolini in an internal email.

  • Claudio Anastasio quoted a 1925 speech from the fascist leader in which he asserted his control over Italy.

  • Anastasio was appointed by right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in November.

The boss of an Italian government-controlled technology company resigned after he quoted the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini in an internal email, according to numerous reports.

Claudio Anastasio resigned as the chairman of 3-I — a tech company that provides software services for Italy's welfare and statistics agencies — on Tuesday, two government sources told Reuters. The story was also reported by Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Anastasio, who was appointed by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in November, sent an inauguration email to board members quoting Mussolini, who ruled Italy as a dictator from 1922 to 1943.

The former chairman quoted from a 1925 Mussolini speech and tweaked it to substitute the word "fascism" for "3-I," per the Times of London.

"But then, oh gentlemen, what butterflies shall we seek under the arch of Titus? Well, I declare here, before you and before the entire Italian government, that I assume (I alone!) responsibility for 3-I (political! moral! historical!) of everything that has happened," Anastasio wrote in the email.

"If more or less distorted phrases are enough to hang a man, out with the gallows and out with the rope! If 3-I was my fault, the responsibility for this is mine, because I have contributed through my role to the historic, political, and moral climate."

Anastasio provided no clear reasoning for his unusual choice of quote, the Times wrote.

In the original speech, Mussolini asserted his power over Italy as dictator and admitted to murdering his opponent Giacomo Matteotti, a politician who had criticized the government.

Anastasio is reportedly friends with Rachele Mussolini, the dictator's granddaughter, and with Francesco Lollobrigida, Italy's agriculture minister, and its Prime Minister's brother-in-law, per the Times.

Meloni became Italy's first female Prime Minister in October and heads the far-right Brothers of Italy party. The ultra-conservative prime minister's party has roots in the post-World War II neo-fascist Italian Social Movement.

Meloni has worked to distance herself from ties to the Italian Social Movement or MSI, a political party founded by Mussolini supporters in 1946, in which she was involved as a teenager.

She previously called Mussolini a "good politician," but told Reuters that she has a "different opinion now."

Read the original article on Business Insider