The Italian brothers, led by Giorgia Meloni, were leading in the opinion polls two weeks before Election Day
Rome (AFP) – Italy’s right-wing parties are organizing a joint rally Thursday in a final push ahead of an expected election to install a Mussolini fan as the country’s first female prime minister.
The Eurosceptic Italian Brothers led by Giorgia Meloni led the latest opinion polls published two weeks before Sunday’s election.
She and her allies, Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration League, and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia look almost certain to form Rome’s first far-right-led government since World War II.
The elections are closely watched in Brussels. Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone, but it suffers from weak growth, huge debt and unstable policies.
Meloni, 45, sought to reassure investors worried about her links to Italy’s post-fascist movement while, at the same time, wooing voters disaffected with the status quo.
As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you. Then on Wednesday, she tweeted, with a photo of her “V”-shaped fingers of victory.
– concrete measures –
Meloni, Salvini and Berlusconi – who have largely run a hypothetical campaign so far at 86 – will hold a mass rally in Rome Thursday night ahead of the Last Day Campaign before a news blackout.
Meloni will head to the southern city of Naples on Friday, amid signs that the populist Five Star Movement – which won the most votes in 2018 – is gaining ground there.
Composition of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and Senate on September 21, 2022
Hyperinflation, a looming winter energy crisis and tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine have dominated the debate in a country just recovering from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.
Europe was also on the horizon, with Italy set to receive nearly 200 billion euros ($200 billion) in post-pandemic EU money by 2026 in exchange for structural reforms demanded by Brussels.
Meloni is no longer urging an exit from the eurozone but has made clear it will affirm Italy’s national interests, while the right-wing coalition platform calls for a review of EU rules on public spending.
Alliance members do not always deal with each other, which raises concerns about the stability of their possible future government.
Italy suffers from weak growth, huge debt and unstable policies
Meloni and Salvini follow a nationalist “Italians first” agenda and demand an end to mass immigration, while emphasizing traditional family values and Italy’s “Judeo-Christian” past.
But while Salvini has long been a fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin and has criticized Western sanctions on Ukraine, Meloni is a strong supporter of Kyiv and their alliance committed to NATO.
The Russian Embassy in Italy tweeted four photos on Thursday showing Putin with nearly all party leaders on Sunday — with the exception of Meloni in particular.
From the recent history of relations between Russia and Italy. “We have some memories” of what was widely seen as pre-election phishing, the embassy wrote.
– hesitant –
Meloni likely won’t appear in Russian photos because she rose almost out of nowhere, giving her an outsider stature that resonated with voters weary of the rotating team of politicians who have led Italy in recent years.
In the 2018 elections, the Brothers of Italy – born a decade earlier into the post-fascist movement founded by supporters of dictator Benito Mussolini – won just over four percent of the vote.
It seems almost certain that Italy will have its first far-right government since World War II
Her popularity soared after Meloni became the only major party leader not to join Draghi’s National Unity coalition in February 2021 – making her the only effective opposition.
Draghi called snap elections in July after his coalition collapsed.
Recent polls see Brothers of Italy around 24-25 percent, ahead of the centre-left Democratic Party at 21 or 22 percent, followed by Five Star at 13-15 percent.
With its allies – the League at around 12 per cent and Berlusconi’s party at eight per cent – Meloni’s coalition appears on course to secure between 45 and 55 per cent of seats in parliament.
But Democratic Party leader Enrico Letta pins his hopes on the 40 per cent of Italians who say they either won’t vote or are undecided.
Experts warn that in a country that has seen nearly 70 governments since World War II, predicting politics is very difficult.
“In Italy, elections are decided on the day people go to vote,” noted Marc Lazar, a professor at Sciences Po in Paris and Louis in Rome.