Politics explained

What Europe can expect from Italy under Giorgia Meloni

As election results made it clear the far-right Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) will lead a radical populist coalition, party leader Giorgia Meloni held up a card that said “Grazie Italia”. It’s fair to say that most of the rest of Europe is less thankful for her emergence.

Often dubbed “fascist” or “neo-fascist”, her party does have roots that date back to open post-war Italian fascism, and thus back to the disastrous dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. However, one of the most intriguing aspects of the governing coalition is exactly how it will choose to govern, where it will bend to reality, and where it will choose to compromise with the European Union, whose “rule book” may not always be compatible with the new Italian government’s plan given that Ms Meloni will have to try and forge a strong and stable government in an administration that contains the volatile Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, who is 85, and Matteo Salvini of Lega (”the league”).

It will, for sure, be socially conservative on issues such as LGBT rights and adoption, and fiercely anti-immigrant, but beyond that, the policy outlook becomes opaque.


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