Rome, July 26 – Media freedom is the “thermometer of democracy” and limiting it raises the potential risk of an “authoritarian involution” or a certain fascination for “strong power”, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said Wednesday at the annual ‘Ventaglio’ ceremony in which the president is given a decorative fan by the Parliamentary Press Association (ASP). “Freedom of the press, its ability to analyze, is important, it is the thermometer of democracy in our country and in others”, Mattarella said of the ceremony before parliament’s summer break. “Where it is limited, alarms are raised over possible authoritarian involutions or a certain fascination for strong power”. In his address, Mattarella spoke about the last semester of the ongoing parliamentary term, noting that “it is a fundamental moment that must always be regarded with much serenity”. He also expressed the wish for an electoral campaign based on “seriously analyzed programs and proposals”, noting that “political dialogue marked by rowdiness and delusional slogans distances voters and would impoverish political confrontation”. “It is necessary for politics not to end up in propaganda,” he said.