After massive criticism of his racist and homophobic statements, an Italian general has been fired, according to media reports. The 54-year-old Roberto Vannacci, who self-published a book without the knowledge of the army leadership, had to vacate his post as head of Italy's military geographic institute after just two months of service, Italian news agencies reported on Friday. The Ministry of Defense in Rome did not deny the information when asked by AFP.
The general, who previously served in Afghanistan and Iraq, writes in his book, among other things, that homosexuals are not "normal." He railed against the "dictatorship of the minorities" and lashed out at feminists, environmentalists and immigrants.
The comments had sparked a wave of outraged reactions from left-wing politicians, while right-wing and far-right MPs remained silent on the incident. Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, a party friend of right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, announced disciplinary proceedings against the general on Thursday.
Vannacci defended himself on the Rete4 television channel. He didn't expect the storm of outrage for a book that "expresses my thoughts without offending anyone". According to the AGI news agency, Vannacci was transferred to the army forces after his release.
Italy's right-wing government under Prime Minister Meloni attaches great importance to traditional family values. Meloni himself criticized the "LGBT lobby". The English abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.