The Meloni government in Italy is keeping a tight grip on Italian freedom of speech and opinion. A few weeks ago, there was a major upheaval in the staff at RAI media, the Italian public television. Those in many pivotal positions were replaced by people more favorable to the current government. Now, the rock band Placebo is the new target of the government’s new non-tolerance policy on expression and communication.
A case file for the investigation of the actions of an institution has been opened by the Turin prosecutor's office against Brian Molko, frontman of the British music group Placebo. It involves words spoken by Molko against Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni during a concert in Stupinigi (Turin) as part of the Sonic Park Festival.
Molko had insulted the prime minister, as reported by carabinieri to the prosecutor's office of the Piedmont capital, saying that Giorgia Meloni is "racist, fascist and a Nazi."
As reported by La Stampa, Brian Molko made several appeals from the stage, including a call for more protections for the rights of nonbinary and transgender people.
The Placebo frontman's attack on Giorgia Meloni ended up on the table of Deputy Prosecutor Emilio Gatti, and it sparked quite a bit of controversy. So much so that the concert scheduled for August 1 at the Sassari stadium in Sardinia has become a real political case. City councilor Mariolino Andria, former candidate for mayor of the center-right, has submitted an inquiry to Mayor Nanni Campus, former Forza Italia senator and former member of Alleanza Nazionale, asking "what actions the administration intends to take to avoid an unpleasant repetition of what happened in Stupinigi and how it intends to censure such an intervention."
The outcome is still to be determined. But this event remains yet another indicator of Meloni's harsh policies on freedom of speech and opinion, and the challenges such policies present in a democracy.