Home » Elections in Italy: Giorgia Meloni claims victory

Elections in Italy: Giorgia Meloni claims victory

by archyde

The far-right and right-wing coalition won more than 44% of the vote, according to partial results. Giorgia Meloni’s party, Fratelli d’Italia, is in the lead.

After Sweden, the extreme right is making a new breakthrough in Europe, where for the first time since 1945 a post-fascist party finds itself at the gates of power. By remaining in opposition to all the successive governments since the 2018 legislative elections, Fratelli d’Italia (FdI) has established itself as the main alternative, dropping from 4.3% to a quarter of the vote, according to the first screenings, becoming the first party on the peninsula.

“The Italians have sent a clear message in favor of a right-wing government led by Fratelli d’Italia”, reacted Ms. Meloni, thus affirming her ambition to become Prime Minister. “We will govern for all” Italians, she promised. “We will do this with the aim of uniting the people,” she added in a rallying and calming speech, acknowledging that the electoral campaign had been “violent and aggressive”.

The coalition it forms with the other far-right eurosceptic party, the League of Matteo Salvini, and Forza Italia, the conservative party of Silvio Berlusconi, would collect around 43% of the vote, which guarantees it an absolute majority of seats. both in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate.

The formation founded at the end of 2012 by Giorgia Meloni with dissidents from Berlusconism is ahead of the Democratic Party (PD, left) of Enrico Letta, which failed to arouse a useful vote to block the far right and goes under the 20% mark, in a context of low participation (64.07%, compared to 73.86% in 2018). PD vice-president Debora Seracchiani acknowledged the “right-wing victory led by Giorgia Meloni”, which marks “a sad evening for the country”.

Congratulations from Europe’s far-right parties

This earthquake comes two weeks after the one which, in Sweden, saw the victory of a conservative bloc including the Democrats of Sweden (SD), a party from the neo-Nazi movement which made a strong breakthrough, becoming the first right-wing party in the Nordic country.

In what was (badly) perceived in Rome as a free warning, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen recalled on Thursday that the EU had “instruments” to sanction member states that undermine the rule of law and its common values.

The French far right hailed the victory of Giorgia Meloni in the legislative elections in Italy on Monday, while rebellious France described the takeover of power by the “heirs of Mussolini” as “tragic”. “The Italians offered a lesson in humility to the European Union which, through the voice of Mrs. Von Der Leyen, claimed to dictate their vote. No threat of any kind can stop democracy: the peoples of Europe raise their heads and take their destiny into their own hands! tweeted MEP Jordan Bardella, acting president of the National Rally.

Eric Zemmour, the leader of Reconquête!, meanwhile tweeted “Congratulations to @GiorgiaMeloni and the Italian people! How not to look at this victory as proof that yes, coming to power is possible? »

On the left of the political spectrum, the deputy La France Insoumise (LFI) Clémentine Autain, deplored a “tragic” result. “The heirs of Mussolini take power in Italy. Neoliberal policies and the disappearance of the left have made this possible. Here we held on. Now let’s win the sprint against the RN. Tonight, solidarity with all Italian progressives, ”she reacted on Twitter.

A pet peeve of Brussels, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki also sent their “congratulations” to Ms. Meloni on Sunday evening.

Mr. Orban, through the voice of his political director, MP Balazs Orban, added this message: “We need friends more than ever who share a common vision and approach to Europe”. Meloni “showed the way to a proud and free Europe of sovereign nations”, rejoiced for his part the leader of the far-right Spanish party VOX, Santiago Abascal.

“Great Unknown”

Fratelli d’Italia owes its success as much to the wind of “clearance” blowing over the peninsula as to the charisma of its leader. This 45-year-old Roman who, as a young activist, said she admired Mussolini, managed to demonize his image and unite in his name the fears and anger of millions of Italians in the face of soaring prices, unemployment, threats of recession or at the expense of public services.

The next government will notably have to manage the crisis caused by galloping inflation, Italy already crumbling under a debt representing 150% of GDP, the highest ratio in the euro zone behind Greece.

In this country with chronic governmental instability, experts already agree on the short life expectancy of the victorious coalition, a marriage of convenience between three allies with competing ambitions. For Ms. Meloni, “the challenge will be to transform her electoral success into long-term government leadership, that’s the great unknown,” said Sunday evening Lorenzo De Sio, professor of political science at the Luiss University of Rome.

Ms. Meloni, with no government experience apart from an ephemeral stint at the youth ministry (2008-2011), will have a lot to do to manage her cumbersome allies, who are much more experienced: Silvio Berlusconi has been head of government several times and Matteo Salvini, minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister.

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