ROME (AP) — Giorgia Meloni formed Italy’s new ruling coalition on Friday, forming the country’s first far-right-led government since the end of World War II and becoming the first woman to win the premiership. I got
Meloni’s Italian brothers, a political party with neo-fascist roots, were the top vote-getters in Italy’s national elections last month.
Hours before the new government was announced, Meloni, a 45-year-old career politician, told reporters that she and her allies had unanimously asked President Sergio Mattarella to give them the reign. rice field.
The top spot capped the Brothers of Italy’s rapid rise. Meloni co-founded the party in his December 2012 and in its first few years was considered a right-wing fringe movement.
Meloni made no public comment before leaving Quirinar’s presidential palace. Earlier in the day, she met with Mattarella and two of her sometimes nasty right-wing allies, Matteo Salvini and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Mattarella expressed satisfaction that the government was formed “in a short time” after the September 25 elections. It took him three months to rally the new ruling coalition after the last election in 2018.
Mattarella said: “For domestic and international situations where the outcome of the vote is clear, the need to proceed quickly, and where the government needs to be sufficiently capable to carry out its duties, the new government should It was possible to give,” said the reporter.
Italy and many other European countries are struggling with soaring energy costs and the drama of Russia’s war with Ukraine, which could put pressure on gas supplies this winter and keep household and business electricity bills rising. .
Berlusconi and Salvini are longtime admirers of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meloni is a firm supporter of Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression. These differences can pose challenges for their governing coalition.
Three-time Prime Minister Berlusconi was frustrated by Meloni’s party’s election victory. The Italian brothers won his 26%, while Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the anti-immigrant Salvini Federation each won just over 8% of him in elections with record low voter turnout.
When Italy held its last parliamentary elections in 2018, Meloni’s party won just over 4%.
Still, members of her party are the largest force in the Italian parliament, but Meloni will need the support of both allies to secure a majority.
Berlusconi considers himself a rare leader on the world stage, but recently after Meloni refused to make one of the media mogul’s closest advisers, a lawmaker, a government minister. , mocked her as “arrogant” in written comments.
At a meeting with parliamentarians from Forza Italia this week, the former prime minister expressed sympathy for Putin’s motives in invading Ukraine. Transcripts of the conversation leaked to Italian news agency LaPresse showed Putin sending him a bottle of vodka for his 86th birthday last month, and while the two exchanged sweet-spoken notes. Berlusconi was also caught boasting that he gave the Russian leader a bottle of wine in
In response to Berlusconi’s comments, including disparaging remarks against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Meloni argued that anyone who joins her regime must stand firm with the West opposing Putin’s war. did. Meloni said she would take that risk if it meant her government would never form.
As a bulwark against possible agitation into Ukraine by allied allies, Meloni appointed one of her closest advisers to the defense minister, Guido Croset, co-founder of the Italian Brothers.
Meloni’s determination can help her in countering resistance from her allies.
Italy’s new prime minister is “a woman who has managed to rise to the top of a very, very, very masculine political party in a very male-dominated country,” says the Rome-based think tank Institute of International Affairs. Director Natalie Totch said.
Meloni chose Antonio Tajani as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Antonio Taggiani was Berlusconi’s Chief of Staff at Forza Italia and former President of the European Union Parliament.His pro-EU background may reassure European partners worried about Meloni’s regime swaying in international alliances
Salvini has also sometimes questioned the wisdom of the West’s harsh sanctions against Russia. expressed.
During the election campaign, Salvini advocated increasing Italy’s already staggeringly high public debt to pay for energy relief aid.
Meloni, who had resisted mounting debt, was appointed Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti and was considered one of the league’s most moderate leaders. It is seen as likely to ensure the continuity of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s economic strategy.
Salvini has worked hard to be appointed Minister of the Interior by Meloni. Salvini’s crackdown on migrant rescue boats during his tenure has led to criminal prosecution against him, and one of his cases is still pending in Sicily.
Meloni instead chose longtime Interior Ministry official Matteo Piantedosi for his portfolio.
Draghi’s national pandemic unity coalition collapsed in July after Salvini, Berlusconi and populist Five Star movement leader Giuseppe Conte refused to endorse the government in a vote of confidence. The parliament was dissolved, opening the way for elections about half a year early.
On Thursday, Mattarella said he feared Meloni, who had been campaigning on the “God, Motherland and Family” agenda, would seek to undermine abortion rights and roll back rights such as same-sex civil unions. accepted opposition leaders who expressed
On Friday, Meloni named Eugenia Maria Roccella, an ultra-conservative Catholic, as minister in charge of families, fertility and equal opportunities.
At a 2018 event in Rome attended by Meloni, Rossella pledged to oppose Italian laws legalizing same-sex marriage, calling same-sex marriage “the end of mankind.” Italy does not recognize same-sex marriage.
Trisha Thomas contributed to the report.
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