Italy. The EU is ready to cooperate with the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni

Sylvie Claire / October 23, 2022

 

The European Union, reluctant to let the far right come to power in Italy, said it was ready to “cooperate” with the eurosceptic government of Giorgia Meloni, which was sworn in on Saturday, October 22, 2022 and is due to take office on Sunday.

 

Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Prime Minister, the first woman to obtain this position,” tweeted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “I look forward to a constructive cooperation […]”.

She was pleased on Twitter to have had “a good first phone call” with the Italian leader, adding: “We will work together to address the critical challenges of the moment, from Ukraine to energy.

 

The same was true of European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. Meloni thanked the European leaders, saying she was “ready and eager to work together.

 

In the evening, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Giorgia Meloni in Italian. “Congratulazioni@GiorgiaMeloni. I look forward to continuing to work closely together with Italy, in the EU, Nato and the G7,” he tweeted.

The other two major European capitals, Paris and Madrid, remained silent.

Before the German leader, the very conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a bête noire of Brussels, had been one of the only European leaders to congratulate Ms. Meloni and greet “a great day for the European right.

 

Unprecedented challenges await us, which is why we need determined and courageous leadership,” added his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki.

The European far right was celebrating: “Everywhere in Europe, patriots are coming to power and with them, this Europe of nations that we call for”, rejoiced in France, the former presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen.

 

It was at the Roman palace of the Quirinal that Ms. Meloni and her 24 ministers – including only 6 women – “swore to respect the Constitution and the laws” before President Sergio Mattarella.

“Now, let’s get to work,” Ms. Meloni then launched in a tweet accompanied by the official photo of the government.

 

The 45-year-old Roman, who won a historic victory in the September 25 legislative elections, has succeeded in giving respectability to her post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party to take power exactly one century after Mussolini, of whom she was an admirer.

The transfer of power between Mario Draghi and Giorgia Meloni is scheduled for Sunday morning, before a first council of ministers.

Many challenges await him, mainly economic, starting with inflation and debt, whose ratio is the highest in the euro zone after Greece.

 

She and her coalition partners, populist anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and declining Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, have an absolute majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The composition of the new government reflects a desire to reassure Rome’s partners, who are worried about the arrival in power in Italy, a founding country of Europe, of the most right-wing and eurosceptic head of government since 1946.

 

Before the elections, von der Leyen caused an uproar in Italy when she spoke of the “instruments” available to Brussels to sanction possible breaches of the EU’s democratic principles in the event of a far-right victory.

The appointment of former European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, a member of Forza Italia, as deputy prime minister for foreign affairs, and of Giancarlo Giorgetti, a representative of the moderate wing of the League, who was already a minister in Mario Draghi’s outgoing government, as minister for the economy, should serve to reassure Brussels.

However, Ms. Meloni’s task looks difficult, especially since her coalition is already showing cracks.

 

Salvini and Berlusconi are reluctant to accept the authority of Giorgia Meloni, whose party won 26 per cent of the vote in the elections, compared to 8 per cent for Forza Italia and 9 per cent for the League.

An Atlanticist herself and a supporter of Ukraine against Russia, Ms. Meloni had to deal with Mr. Berlusconi’s controversial remarks this week, when he claimed to have “renewed relations” with Vladimir Putin and blamed Kiev for the war.

Ms. Meloni corrected herself by saying that Italy is “fully part of Europe and NATO with its head held high.

 

A message well received in Washington, Kiev and Nato, whose Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sent his “congratulations” to Ms. Meloni. U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday he “looks forward” to working with her “to continue our support for Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its aggression.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter he “looks forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation.” “You are not alone!”, replied Mrs. Meloni: “Italy will always stand by the brave Ukrainian people who are fighting for their freedom and a legitimate peace ».The European Union, reluctant to let the far right come to power in Italy, said it was ready to “cooperate” with the eurosceptic government of Giorgia Meloni, which was sworn in on Saturday, October 22, 2022 and is due to take office on Sunday.

 

Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Prime Minister, the first woman to obtain this position,” tweeted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “I look forward to a constructive cooperation […]”.

She was pleased on Twitter to have had “a good first phone call” with the Italian leader, adding: “We will work together to address the critical challenges of the moment, from Ukraine to energy.

 

The same was true of European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola. Meloni thanked the European leaders, saying she was “ready and eager to work together.

 

In the evening, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Giorgia Meloni in Italian. “Congratulazioni@GiorgiaMeloni. I look forward to continuing to work closely together with Italy, in the EU, Nato and the G7,” he tweeted.

The other two major European capitals, Paris and Madrid, remained silent.

Before the German leader, the very conservative Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a bête noire of Brussels, had been one of the only European leaders to congratulate Ms. Meloni and greet “a great day for the European right.

 

Unprecedented challenges await us, which is why we need determined and courageous leadership,” added his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki.

The European far right was celebrating: “Everywhere in Europe, patriots are coming to power and with them, this Europe of nations that we call for”, rejoiced in France, the former presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen.

 

It was at the Roman palace of the Quirinal that Ms. Meloni and her 24 ministers – including only 6 women – “swore to respect the Constitution and the laws” before President Sergio Mattarella.

“Now, let’s get to work,” Ms. Meloni then launched in a tweet accompanied by the official photo of the government.

 

The 45-year-old Roman, who won a historic victory in the September 25 legislative elections, has succeeded in giving respectability to her post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party to take power exactly one century after Mussolini, of whom she was an admirer.

The transfer of power between Mario Draghi and Giorgia Meloni is scheduled for Sunday morning, before a first council of ministers.

Many challenges await him, mainly economic, starting with inflation and debt, whose ratio is the highest in the euro zone after Greece.

 

She and her coalition partners, populist anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and declining Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, have an absolute majority in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

The composition of the new government reflects a desire to reassure Rome’s partners, who are worried about the arrival in power in Italy, a founding country of Europe, of the most right-wing and eurosceptic head of government since 1946.

 

Before the elections, von der Leyen caused an uproar in Italy when she spoke of the “instruments” available to Brussels to sanction possible breaches of the EU’s democratic principles in the event of a far-right victory.

The appointment of former European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, a member of Forza Italia, as deputy prime minister for foreign affairs, and of Giancarlo Giorgetti, a representative of the moderate wing of the League, who was already a minister in Mario Draghi’s outgoing government, as minister for the economy, should serve to reassure Brussels.

However, Ms. Meloni’s task looks difficult, especially since her coalition is already showing cracks.

 

Salvini and Berlusconi are reluctant to accept the authority of Giorgia Meloni, whose party won 26 per cent of the vote in the elections, compared to 8 per cent for Forza Italia and 9 per cent for the League.

An Atlanticist herself and a supporter of Ukraine against Russia, Ms. Meloni had to deal with Mr. Berlusconi’s controversial remarks this week, when he claimed to have “renewed relations” with Vladimir Putin and blamed Kiev for the war.

Ms. Meloni corrected herself by saying that Italy is “fully part of Europe and NATO with its head held high.

 

A message well received in Washington, Kiev and Nato, whose Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sent his “congratulations” to Ms. Meloni. U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday he “looks forward” to working with her “to continue our support for Ukraine and hold Russia accountable for its aggression.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter he “looks forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation.” “You are not alone!”, replied Mrs. Meloni: “Italy will always stand by the brave Ukrainian people who are fighting for their freedom and a legitimate peace

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