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Far-right Giorgia Meloni forms Italy’s ruling coalition | Giorgia Melon


Giorgia Meloni has formed Italy’s new ruling coalition, giving the country its first far-right government since the end of World War II.

A presidential palace official announced that Meloni, set to become the country’s first female prime minister, and her cabinet would be sworn in on Saturday. Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, a party with neo-fascist roots, won the most votes in Italy’s national elections last month.

Hours before the formation of the new government was announced, Meloni, 45, a career politician, told reporters that she and her allies had unanimously asked President Sergio Mattarella to give her the mandate to govern.

Obtaining the post of Prime Minister crowned a remarkably rapid rise for the Brothers of Italy. Meloni co-founded the party in December 2012, and it was considered a fringe right-wing movement during its early years.

Meloni made no public comment before leaving the presidential palace in the Quirinal. Earlier in the day, she met with Mattarella, along with his two main, sometimes troublesome right-wing allies, Matteo Salvini and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Mattarella told reporters the government was formed “in a short time” after the September 25 election. After the last elections, in 2018, it took three months for a new ruling coalition to form.

Quickly giving the country a new government “was possible because of the clarity of the outcome of the vote and the need to proceed quickly also because of the national and international conditions which require a government in its fullness to carry out its tasks” , Mattarella said.

Italy and much of the rest of Europe are grappling with soaring energy costs and the drama of Russia’s war in Ukraine, which could cut gas supplies this winter and continue to increase household and business electricity bills.

Berlusconi and Salvini are longtime admirers of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Meloni is a strong supporter of Ukraine in its defense against Russian invasion. These differences could create challenges for their ruling coalition.

Berlusconi, three times Prime Minister, was irritated by the electoral victory of Meloni’s party. Italy’s Brothers won 26% of the vote, while Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Salvini’s Anti-Migrant League won just over 8% each in an election with record turnout. In 2018, when Italy held its previous legislative elections, Meloni’s party won just over 4%.

Yet, while his party members are the biggest force in Italy’s parliament, Meloni needs the support of his two allies to secure a majority.

Berlusconi, who considers himself a rare leader on the world stage, recently called her “arrogant” in written comments, reportedly after Meloni refused to name one of the media mogul’s closest advisers to the post of minister.
This week, in a meeting with Forza Italia lawmakers, the former prime minister expressed sympathy for Putin’s motivation to invade Ukraine.

A recording of the conversation leaked to Italian news agency LaPresse also captured Berlusconi bragging that Putin had sent him bottles of vodka for his 86th birthday last month and that he had given bottles of wine to the Russian leader, while the two exchanged “softly worded” notes. .

Responding to Berlusconi’s comments, which included disparaging remarks about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Meloni said anyone joining his government must be solidly in step with the West in opposing Putin’s war. If that meant her government could not be formed, Meloni said, she would take that risk.

As a bulwark against possible hesitations on Ukraine on the part of his coalition allies, Meloni appointed defense minister one of his closest advisers, the co-founder of the Brothers of Italy, Guido Crosetto.

She chose Antonio Tajani as foreign minister, one of Berlusconi’s top aides at Forza Italia and a former speaker of the European Union parliament. Its pro-EU past could reassure European partners worried about a Meloni government hesitant in its international alliances.

On Thursday, Mattarella received opposition leaders, who raised concerns that Meloni, who campaigned with a “God, Fatherland, Family” platform, would seek to erode abortion rights and roll back rights such as same-sex civil unions.

theguardian

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