The far-right candidate, Giorgia Meloni, leader of the political party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), is leading the voting intentions in the early legislative elections of September 25, 2022.
The Italians are called to the polls this Sunday, September 25, to determine which political formation will be brought to form the next government of the country. These legislative elections must generate a parliamentary majority and everything suggests – starting with the latest opinion polls – that the voters will place the party led by Giorgia Meloni in the lead.
The general elections of this Sunday, September 25 aim to elect 200 senators and 400 deputies who will make up the Parliament of the Italian Republic. “Two” large blocks of adversaries face each other in this election: on the right, the coalition made up of three parties: the far-right party Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) led by Giorgia Meloni joined by two parties far right: that of Matteo Salvini (La Ligue) and Silvio Berlusconi (Forza Italia); on the left, the “M5S” coalition imploded 60 days before the election, while the Democratic Party led by Enrico Letta, isolated, seems too weakened to win in this election.
Who is Giorgia Meloni, the favorite in the polls? Biography
Giorgia Meloni, born in Rome in 1977, started politics at the age of 15. She joined the MSI (Italian Social Movement), a neo-fascist political party in the 1990s. transformed. At the age of 29, she was elected to parliament, and at 31, Giorgia Meloni joined the government of Silvio Berlusconi as Minister for Youth.
In 2014, the journalist by training took the lead of her young far-right political party, the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia). The name of the political party is not chosen at random, it is the name of the Italian national anthem. Giorgia Meloni is also the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists party in the European Parliament. During a meeting of the Italian right in 2020, she declared this: “I am Giorgia, I am a woman, I am a mother, I am Italian, I am a Christian and you will not take it away from me!” The candidate of the Brothers of Italy has always been attached to Christian values. She has repeatedly denounced LGBT “lobbies” and opposed adoption for same-sex couples.
Giorgia Meloni, a very conservative right-wing candidate
Asked by the Washington Post in September 2022, she defined her political party as “conservative”, preferring this term to that of the far right, which she knows has pejorative connotations. It must be said that for years, his political party has been trying to break away from its radical and nationalist right-wing image, in favor of a more moderate profile. However, she declared to the American media that among the themes which preoccupy the Brothers of Italy, there is “the protection of the borders against uncontrolled immigration”, “the defense of the Italian national identity”. In this same interview, she added that she had a “main enemy”: the left.
The efforts made by Giorgia Meloni to demonize her political formation have come up against very embarrassing revelations in recent weeks. The daily La Repubblica revealed in early September that Calogero Pisano, provincial secretary of the candidate’s political party, had in 2014 praised Adolf Hitler on social networks, calling him a “great statesman”. Following the daily’s revelations, the Brothers of Italy suspended the party member with immediate effect. Recently, an old video of the candidate resurfaced on social networks. Questioned by France 3 in 1996, she declared this: “I believe that Mussolini was a good politician. Everything he did, he did for Italy”, she declares in French. Qualities that, according to her, we “do not find” in politicians since her death.
Since then, his party has been trying to break away from its fascist heritage. In a video published in English, French, and Spanish on the party’s YouTube channel, the candidate indicated that “several decades ago the Italian right relegated fascism to history, condemning without ambiguity the deprivation of democracy and the infamous anti-Jewish laws“.
An opponent of the European Union
During a political speech at the Piazza Duomo in Milan, the Italian cathedral, the legislative candidate for this Sunday, September 25 declared: “If I win, for Europe, the jokes are over”. His center-left political opponent, Enrico Letta, expressed concern about this phrase and felt that “if the center-right were to govern, I fear it would be over for Italy.” In June 2022 in front of his Spanish activists, she chanted: “Yes to the sovereignty of the people, no to the bureaucracy of Brussels!” She told the Washington Post that she opposes European Union policy. “What is happening in recent years, with the pandemic and the war, shows how many European priorities have been misplaced.”
Wolfgang Munchau, a journalist specializing in the European economy, also said he was very concerned about a victory for the conservative candidate, writing on his website: “The financial markets are right to worry about Giorgia Meloni as the next Italian Prime Minister, but for the wrong reasons.” For the journalist, the danger would lie in the attitude of Brussels towards the far-right candidate. He is afraid that “the European Union will try to push it around or isolate it, and that it will resist, with the Italian electorate on its side.”
The candidate was not kind to France either. In a YouTube video from 2014, she violently accused France of bombing Libya because it “embarrassed” France “that Italy has a privileged relationship in the energy sector with Gaddafi, exposing us to migratory chaos in which we are.” Giorgia Meloni remains more discreet about her political preferences in France. She did not support either Marine Le Pen or Eric Zemmour in the 2022 presidential elections. However, her right-wing coalition ally in these 2022 general elections, Matteo Salvini (La Ligue), has as for him, he has already repeatedly claimed his attachment to the National Rally. An attempt at differentiation?