Since 1946, Italy has had 69 governments and has now elected the most right-wing leader since WWII. Leading this was Giorgia Meloni, the leader of Fratelli d’Italia, the Brothers of Italy party.
Meloni, who was raised in a working-class vicinity, will be the first female Prime Minister of Italy. The 45-year-old’s party is rooted in the neo-fascist movement that materialized out of the remains of World War II. The party’s flag points to its past, which includes a tricolor flame. This depicts fascism, but Meloni has refused to eliminate the symbol.
Likewise, many party members still show a rapport for dictatorship and racist commanders in history. Earlier in the week, the group removed a member running for legislature after an Italian paper exposed he had made remarks backing Adolf Hitler.
She has spent many hours trying to sway Italians and Europeans that her party isn’t a dictatorship. Not only has she done this on TV, but also on various social platforms. Posts on these platforms all look the same with her on the podium as there are cheers in the background of the supporters clutching Brothers of Italy flags. In one post in late summer, she talked about introducing a naval barricade to guard the Mediterranean, to prohibit individuals she referred to as “illegal immigrants” from North Africa.
Meloni has said, “I have a dream of a nation in which people who have had to put their heads down for so many years … can now say what they think and not lose their jobs because of it.”
Historian Lorenzo Castellani, a professor at Rome’s LUISS University says the policy is not what is critical in the campaign Meloni has, but rather the message of stopping the “illegal immigrants” at any cost. Castellani then voiced his opinion, stating, “She is proposing herself as a sort of defender of the borders, a very Trumpian approach from this point of view.” This refers to former US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration grandiosity and policies.
While Meloni has stated she will not outlaw abortion, which has been legal in Italy since 1978, many residents worry that she will. Rather, she has promised she will work with the EU and can be trusted with the recovery funds, even though in the past there have been talks of her wanting to leave the European Union. However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated there could be repercussions for Italy if it moves in an anti-democratic direction after this election.
In the previous election, Meloni’s party only won 4% of the vote. However, she likes to shake things up. Political writer Federico Fubini, a Meloni critic, says a good reason why she is ahead now is that she’s viewed as the one that didn’t have authority for the last decade.
Meloni is poised to take over about 100 years after Benito Mussolini took over in Rome. She states his philosophy is behind them. It is the aspiration of many Italians and Europeans that she’ll stand by this.