Populist agitator Giorgia Meloni has been named Italy’s first female prime minister, making her the country’s most far-right leader since Benito Mussolini.
She received orders from Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday afternoon to form the government after two days of official consultations, and is expected to take office on Saturday at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET).
Last month’s general elections resulted in an alliance of far-right and center-right parties, led by the ultra-conservative Italian brothers, who won enough seats in the Italian parliament to form a government.
Meloni announced the election of the government at Rome’s Quirinal Palace, appointing Matteo Salvini, leader of Italy’s far-right party, the League Party, as Minister of Infrastructure.
Giancarlo Giorgetti, also of the Allied Party, was appointed economy minister. His Antonio Tajani of the Forza Italia party was given the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the role of Minister of Defense was given to his Guido Crosetto, one of the founders of the Brothers of Italy party.
The new government will consist of a coalition of Meloni’s Italian Brotherhood Party, Salvini’s Allied Party and Forza Italia Party, and will be led by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Brothers of Italy he received nine ministries, while Forza Italia and Ligue each he received five ministries.
Meloni will take the oath of office in a ceremony on Saturday morning at 10am local time (4am ET).
Putting together her new cabinet exposed the tension. This week, controversial former leader Berlusconi, 86, said audio released by Italian news agency La Presse spoke of his “re-established” relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. An old man made headlines when he revealed.
Berlusconi’s office confirmed to CNN on Thursday that the videos are genuine. It is believed to have been secretly recorded during a meeting of the Forza Italia Party in the Capitol on Tuesday.
In the audio, the billionaire and media mogul said he had “re-established his relationship with President Putin” and that the Russian leader called him “the first of his five true friends.” I am proud that I called you.
His comments raised eyebrows as diplomatic relations between Russia and Western leaders remain strained amid the Kremlin’s brutal military assault on Ukraine.
Berlusconi has been the subject of multiple corruption and bribery trials during his turbulent political career.
Meloni has been a strong supporter of Ukraine in its fight against Moscow’s invasion. In her coalition backlash over Berlusconi’s leaked comments, she restated her foreign policy line.
“If we rule, Italy will never be the weak point of the West. The country of spaghetti and mandolini, so dear to so many of our detractors, will regain its confidence and defend its interests.” Let’s go,” Meloni said on her Instagram account late Wednesday.
Meloni said in the early hours of Friday after a meeting with Mattarella and her coalition partners that a new government should be formed “as soon as possible”.
“We are ready to rule Italy,” said Meloni’s official Facebook page. “We will be conscious and capable of meeting the urgency and challenges of our times.”
Meloni entered the crowded Italian political scene in 2006 and in 2012 co-founded the Brothers of Italy, a political party whose agenda is rooted in Euroskepticism and anti-immigrant policies.
The group’s popularity surged ahead of September’s elections as voters in Italy once again rejected mainstream politics in favor of figures from the fringes.
She first came to prominence as Vice President of the National Alliance, an unapologetic neo-fascist group formed by supporters of Benito Mussolini. Meloni herself had openly admired the dictator in her youth, but she later distanced herself from his brand of fascism – a tricolor symbolizing eternal fire on his tomb with the Italian Brothers logo. despite maintaining the flames of
Throughout her time in politics, she has steadfastly pursued a conservative agenda, frequently questioning LGBT rights, abortion rights and immigration policy.