How could one ignore the first female Prime Minister (PM) of Italy?
Not Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz nor France’s President Emmanuel Macron, even if their politics don’t march quite in step. No sooner was the journalist and politician Giorgia Meloni officially confirmed on October 22, 2022, forming a cabinet in a surprisingly short time, than these gentlemen let it be known that they would work with her.
Meloni had been leader of the “Brothers of Italy (FdL)” since 2014 and the European Conservatives and Reformists’ President since 2020.
Who then is she, this Signora of the right, married and mother of a daughter? Sometimes her statements have been somewhat controversial, such as praise of the one-time fascist leader Benito Mussolini.
Born in Rome in 1977 to Sardinia? Sicilian parentage , she had first joined the youth wing of the right-wing post-fascist National Alliance (NA) aged fifteen in 1992, then other affiliations. Forging to the front, she had been leader of the NA student movement, then co-founder of its successor FdI in 2012, to lead it as president from 2014 in opposition in the Chamber of Deputies. From 2008 to 2011 she had been in Berlusconi’s cabinet as Youth Minister, the youngest ever minister in a united Italy.
Denying that she is on the far right, the PM says she is Catholic Christian, conservative and defends “God, fatherland, family. She opposes abortion, euthanasia, marriage and parenting of same-sex partners and is critical of globalism. She views feminism as an ideological group against the right. She also opposes non-Christian immigrants and multiculture, supporting a naval blockade to keep these out, while blaming neo-colonialism for the refugee crisis. Meloni has been accused of anti-Islam views and xenophobia. A Eurosceptic, she ditched her pro-Russian stance to back Ukraine. Rightwing parties including Germany’s AfD have expressed support of Meloni, who has tried to moderate her views, since her success in the 2022 election.
Well, what kind of Meloni government can be expected? Politicians don’t seem to be able to agree. It is known she is close to Hungary’s right-wing PM Viktor Orban. Despite her long history of far-right views claimed by several, others maintain she is no fascist.
In view of the arguments to and fro, it looks as if we all have to Wait and See.