Giorgia Meloni writes history. The 45-year-old mother, who made her way through working-class Rome’s searing youth politics, will become Italy’s first female prime minister. For the first time since Mussolini, a neo-fascist party – the Brothers of Italy – will be in power. His motto is “God, Fatherland, Family”.
The lightweight Ms. Meloni will lead a coalition dependent on a brutal coalition partner consisting of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party and Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega party. She has her hands full: cabaret artist Silvio can go rogue; “Capitano” Salvini had a lousy choice. Egos as fragile as eggshells.
With allegations of racism, xenophobia and homophobia hanging over her party, there are concerns not only about what Ms Meloni might do, but also about the social tone her leadership is striking in Italy: similar to Donald Trump’s in America.
Their victory is a joy for far-right Europeans, Viktor Orban and Marine Le Pen; Sister parties in Germany, Sweden and Poland lavish congratulations on Italy’s new leader with whom they share “a vision” of Europe. The Kremlin joined them, hoping for “more constructive parties” in government.
On the other hand, professional European Ursula von der Leyen is nervous. Not half as nervous as some of the lay Europeans on the Italian left, though. For them, the European Commission President’s tossing, wooden spoon in hand, is a reminder of how they enabled a failed status quo of EU neoliberalism and Italian technocracy, the resulting crippling deadlock that has cast many to the right and extreme drives. Right for one ear, one voice, one hand. Equally, however, they might loathe what Ms. Meloni represents: as Democrats, they claim the elections are their elections.
Gomorrah Author and anti-fascist commentator Roberto Saviano wrote last week that Ms Meloni was “a threat to Italy and Europe”.
Taking to social media on Monday, he said: “I’ve read that Saviano is trending because Meloni voters are ‘inviting’ me to leave the country. These are warnings. This is the Italy that awaits us. They are already compiling a blacklist of enemies of the fatherland, despite those who said fascism was something else.”
It was very different three years ago when Ms. Meloni took the stage in Rome and yelled at the crowd: “I’m Giorgia. I am a woman. I am a mother. I am Italian. I’m a Christian.” Die Linke pounced and turned it into a rap that Giorgia Meloni Remix, which is still available on YouTube. But, as already mentioned, there was a boomerang. “I am Giorgia,” with its hot rejection of “Parent One” and “Parent Two,” blaring through discos and nightclubs, has become a weekend anthem for young, politically apathetic people. In plastic politics, where mere presence can suffice, Ms Meloni has been a winner.
The “Christian” part was a bolt from the blue (or maybe not, given the anti-migrant Mr Salvini’s love of his rosaries) to the neon-clad saviors of the black-and-tan people rocking hypothermic babies up and down in the wintry-grey Mediterranean on her back.
Famed for her uncompromising, “rooted” message, there’s a widespread consensus that she “picked her moment” to soften her image.
They had taken “Christian” Ms. Meloni at his word when she called for the repatriation of migrants, the boats they were bringing were wrecked; “Sea blockades” and “ditches” are appropriate responses to what the broad far right calls “invasion.”
Although Ms Meloni denies ties to Fascism, she launched her 2018 campaign in the city of Latina, built by the Fascists as they drained the swamps south of Rome. the reconquest of “the symbolic homeland of the right wing in Italy” and shows the party candidate Rachele Mussolini in her grandfather’s hereditary garden. The party gained popularity and received 4.35 percent of the vote. Now Ms. Meloni is leading a coalition with 44 percent.
As? Partly because the hour of women is coming in the zoo of Italian politics. Famed for her uncompromising, “rooted” message, delivered in a boisterous and surprising baritone, there’s a widespread consensus that she “picked her moment” to soften her image. Despite being a Mario Draghi technocracy denier, she warmed up her meat-cellar cold to the EU and tiptoed into the cozier corners of social media as the hardworking single mom of an adorable little girl, during pizza nights and her long-held interest in protecting Pets made them more acceptable, more accessible — altogether less alien — to a non-hardline political audience.
Among them are women who say they are all for inclusion but not for their own annihilation. They feel abandoned by the left, deprived of their space and voice as mothers and/or wives, dismayed that the only politics they take seriously are those they previously rejected or ignored. All this during Guardian Correspondent Lorenzo Tondo reported how on Election Day, gender-specific queues provided for in a rarely used 1967 law, which is now set to be challenged, meant trans voters felt compelled to “out” if they didn’t bring their state ID with them matched their gender.
I obey the universal law of mothers whose daughters live away from home and leave my phone on at night. The pings and expletives began late Sunday night as Italy’s exit polls confirmed fears on the left that the far right was about to come to power.
The next day I chat with my mother, who recently turned 90. Over coffee she asks about her granddaughter. I explain to her that she gutted a far-right politician named Ms. Meloni who is set to become her prime minister.
“Your people must be Irish?”
“A huge shock; “a danger for Italy and Europe”; a “descent into the darkest days”; even Pope Francis sticking in his fishermen’s oar?
Didn’t have the heart to tell her.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/giorgia-meloni-is-italys-answer-to-donald-trump-and-both-enjoy-the-support-of-the-far-right-and-the-kremlin-42025225.html Giorgia Meloni is Italy’s answer to Donald Trump – and both enjoy the support of the far right and the Kremlin