Far-Right Giorgia Meloni Wins Italy Elections, Exit Poll Shows

Sunday, September 25, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

ROME (Worthy News) – Far-right Giorgia Meloni has won the Italian elections and is due to become the country’s first female prime minister, exit polls show.

She will lead the most right-wing government since World War Two amid concerns about social tensions in the third-largest national economy in the European Union.

An exit poll for state broadcaster RAI said the rightwing bloc led by her Brothers of (Fratelli d’Italia, FdI) party won between 41 and 45 percent of the vote.

The bloc, which includes Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, received enough votes to guarantee control of both houses of parliament.

Meloni, 45, has pledged to support Western policies on wartorn Ukraine, tackle illegal migration, and not take undue risks with Italy’s economy, still in the top 10 of the world.

She quickly played down the post-fascist roots of her Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia, FdI) party, which she portrays as a mainstream conservative group.

FASCISM TO HISTORY?

In August, she issued a video, spoken in English, French and Spanish, in which she said, “fascism has been consigned to history.”

However, Fdi is a political descendent of the Italian Social Movement (Movimento Sociale Italiano, MSI) formed by supporters of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini after World War Two.

And critics point out that she did not distance herself from Mussolini’s misused slogan “God, family, fatherland” while he cooperated with Nazi Germany’s anti-semite Adolf Hitler.

Additionally, Meloni declined to remove the fascist MSI’s tricolored flame from her party’s logo.

Despite these controversies, most Italians voted for her at a time of dissatisfaction with the current political establishment.

Italy’s first autumn national election in over a century was triggered by party infighting that brought down Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad national unity government in July.

HOST OF CHALLENGES

The overwhelmingly Catholic nation of more than 61 million people has a history of political instability. Meloni will lead Italy’s 68th government since 1946 amid many challenges.

The new, slimmed-down parliament will not meet until October 13, when the head of state will summon party leaders and will likely confirm Meloni’s government.

She is due to take control at a time when Russia’s war in Ukraine is driving inflation and testing the limits of Western unity against Moscow, analysts said in reactions.

Analysts say the outcome is nervously watched across the EU and on financial markets as they seek unity in dealings with Russia amid worries over Italy’s debt mountain.

And concerns remain about whether the government will be moderate. Professor Andrea Mammone of Rome’s Sapienza University, an expert in Italian far-right political history, complained that Meloni’s party is “in line with the neo-fascist tradition.”

He noted that “many of its members show a positive approach towards Mussolini’s regime.” It’s now up to Meloni to prove him wrong.

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