Five questions after the election of the far-right coalition in Italy

Probable future Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, president of the Fratelli d’Italia (FDI) party, embodies a movement with post-fascist DNA that she managed to “de-demonize” to come to power. Under the leadership of this 45-year-old Roman, FDI became the leading party in the country, winning more than a quarter of the vote.

In the 2018 legislative elections, FDI had to settle for a meager 4% of the vote, but Giorgia Meloni has since managed to bring together under her name the discontent and frustrations of many Italians who are overwhelmed by the “dictates” of Brussels, life dear and the blocked future of young people.

Who is Giorgia Meloni?

Giorgia Meloni has never hidden it: she has admired Mussolini for a long time. Born in Rome on January 15, 1977, she has been an activist since she was 15 in student associations classified on the very right, while working as a babysitter or waitress. In 2006, she became a deputy and vice-president of the chamber. Two years later, she was appointed Minister of Youth in the government of Silvio Berlusconi. This is his only government experience. Her youth, her temerity, her formulas, make her a good client for the media. Giorgia Meloni, who lives with a TV journalist, has a daughter, born in 2016, the year she failed to win the mayor of Rome.

Today, if she recognizes the Duce for having “accomplished a lot”, she does not exonerate him from his “errors”: the anti-Jewish laws and the start of the war. No question on these subjects in her party, she assures us: “there is no place for those nostalgic for fascism, nor for racism and anti-Semitism”.

What is the coalition’s program?

Meloni wanted to reassure Sunday evening, after the vote, in a short speech to the press where she multiplied the calls for appeasement and national harmony. “We will govern for all Italians… We will do so with the aim of uniting the people,” she said.

Its program during the electoral campaign was based in foreign policy on respect for the commitments made within the framework of the Atlantic Alliance. Unlike many members of the far right, in France in particular, she supported Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion. It also promises to respect adherence to the European integration process, with the prospect of a more political and less bureaucratic European Union. But she wants the rules of the Stability Pact and economic governance to be revised, and for the EU to promote its Judeo-Christian historical and cultural roots and identities.

In terms of domestic policy, Meloni’s program is liberal, with a reduction in the tax burden for families, businesses and the self-employed, the announced abolition of the universal minimum income and in parallel the revaluation of the minimum pension, social and disability . It also wants to support the birth rate, in particular with free crèches.

A large part of its program concerns the fight against irregular immigration and the orderly management of legal immigration flows. It envisages the blocking of boats to prevent, in agreement with the North African authorities, the trafficking of human beings, as well as the creation of hot-spots on territories outside Europe, managed by the European Union, to examine applications of asylum.

Finally, in terms of the environment, Meloni will not be on a very divisive line: she is campaigning for the increase in the production of renewable energies, and promises to respect the international commitments made by Italy to fight against climate change.

What are the reactions in Europe to his victory?

The most virulent reaction came from Madrid. “Populisms always end in disaster”, warned Monday the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs after the victory of the post-fascist party of Giorgia Meloni on Sunday in the legislative elections in Italy. “It’s a moment of uncertainty and in moments of uncertainty, populisms always gain in importance and they always end in the same way: in disaster” because “their answer is always the same: let’s close in on ourselves- same and let’s go back to the past, said José Manuel Albarés. They always provide simple short-term answers to problems that are very complex. »

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The tone is much more measured in the other capitals. In Brussels the Commission, via its spokesperson, said it hoped for “constructive cooperation” with the next Italian government.

Germany expects Italy to remain “very favorable to Europe” despite the victory of the post-fascist party of Giorgia Meloni in the legislative elections, a government spokesman said on Monday.

In France, Elisabeth Borne wanted to be very cautious, refusing to “comment on the democratic choice of the Italian people”. Asked whether the government was ready to work with Giorgia Meloni, the president of the Brothers of Italy, a far-right party, she refused to comment. “We must not skip the stages. I am not going to comment on the democratic choice of the Italian people. It belongs to the President of the Republic [italien] to appoint the Chairman of the Board. »

Not everyone is on this line, however. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki hailed on Monday the “great victory” of the Italian far right in the legislative elections won by the Brothers of Italy party of Giorgia Meloni. “Great victory! Congratulation ! exclaimed Morawiecki on Facebook, using emojis to emphasize that the two countries would be strong together.

What economic indicators after this election?

Italy, which is crumbling under a debt representing 150% of GDP, the highest ratio in the euro zone behind Greece, is experiencing inflation of more than 9% with gas and electricity bills which are putting millions of people.

The Milan Stock Exchange was up on Monday morning, the victory of the far right having been widely anticipated by the markets. Friday, the Italian place had fallen by 3.36%, suffering the largest decline among the major European stock markets.

A sign of investors’ persistent concerns about Italy’s debt, the “spread”, that is to say the closely watched gap between the German 10-year borrowing rate which refers to and that of Italy to ten years, climbed to 235 points on Monday, up 6.68%.

When will she be appointed?

Following the victory of the far-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni in the legislative elections on Sunday, a new government will be appointed, but in Italy the path between the two can be tortuous and drag on. In the past, this process has taken between just under four and twelve weeks. It is certain that Italy will be represented by resigning Prime Minister Mario Draghi at the informal summit of EU Heads of State and Government in Prague on 7 October.

The newly elected members of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies must, according to the Constitution, meet within twenty days after the holding of the elections, that is to say on October 15 at the latest. According to political tradition, the President of the Republic begins consultations on the appointment of the new head of government by the presidents of the two chambers, followed by the leaders of the main parties and possibly the leaders of the parliamentary groups, after which the Head of State mandates a personality to form a new government.

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