ITALY’S Giorgia Meloni has declared victory as the stunned country inaugurates its most far-right leader since Benito Mussolini.
Meloni’s party, which has neo-fascist roots, will lead a new coalition and install the most right-wing government since World War II.
The Brethren of Italy won 26 percent in Sunday’s elections according to partial results.
And they will take office in a coalition with the far-right Lega and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.
Meloni, a straight-talking Italian raised by a single mother in a working-class neighborhood, railed against what she calls “LGBT lobbies,” “awakened ideology,” and “the violence of Islam.”
And she has vowed to stop the tens of thousands of migrants who arrive on Italy’s shores each year.
The centre-left Democratic Party has warned that Meloni poses a threat to democracy – and would pose a serious threat to hard-won rights like abortion.
On the economy, Meloni’s coalition has pledged to cut taxes while increasing social spending, regardless of the cost.
In a victory speech, she said: “If we are called to rule this nation, we will do it for everyone, we will do it for all Italians and we will do it with the aim of uniting the people.
“Italy chose us. We will not betray (the country) as we have never done.”
Their success marks a massive shift in Italy and for the EU, just weeks after the far right also outperformed in Sweden’s general election.
Meloni, who campaigned under the motto “God, Fatherland and Family”, is to become Italy’s first female prime minister – but it could take weeks to form a new government.
At a time of rising inflation, a looming energy crisis and raging war in Ukraine, Meloni sought to reassure those worried about her lack of experience and radical past.
Meloni said voters sent a “clear message” of support for her party to lead her right-wing coalition to power.
She tweeted, “Today you can help make history.”
A few hours earlier, she shared a clip on Tiktok holding two melons — a pun on her last name — with the caption, “I said it all.”
The figures show that turnout was lower than in the 2018 election.
Her coalition partners, Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, lagged behind her in the polls.
But together they are expected to win around 44 percent – enough to secure a majority in both houses of Parliament.
The Brethren of Italy received just four percent of the vote in 2018 and have never been in power.
Meloni’s own experience in government is limited to a ministerial post in the 2008 Berlusconi government – but she has tried to prove she is up to the challenge.
She has softened her views over the years, abandoning her demands for Italy to leave the EU’s single currency.
Her coalition also wants to renegotiate the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund.
Despite her Euroscepticism, Meloni supports EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine – although her allies are another matter.
Berlusconi, the billionaire former prime minister and longtime friend of Vladimir Putin, faced an outcry this week after he claimed the Russian president was “pushed” into the war by his entourage.
The latest opinion polls two weeks before Election Day showed that one in four voters supported Meloni – but around 20 percent of voters were undecided.
The next government is unlikely to take office before the second half of October.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6300561/italy-victory-first-far-right-government-giorgia-meloni/ Italian Giorgia Meloni declares VICTORY in election upset and ushers in “country’s most far-right leader since Mussolini”.