Last September’s legislative elections in Italy gave the country’s leading political force to the far-right political party Fratelli d’Italia, led by Giorgia Meloni. To govern, the party had to form a majority with other far-right parties such as Giuseppe Conte’s 5-Star Movement, 15% of the vote, Matteo Salvini’s League, 12%, and Silvio’s Forza D’Italia. Berlusconi won 8% of the vote.
The referendum of Giorgia Meloni’s party was the headline event of these Italian elections, which took place against the backdrop of a domestic economic crisis and an unstable international political climate. From the 4.3% obtained in the last 2018 elections to now more than a quarter, the Italian political landscape has completely turned upside down. Behind this radical change is its charismatic leader, Georgia Meloney.
Activist since his youth in the Italian social movement MSI, founded in 1946 by Bonito Mussolini’s followers, Meloni declared himself a post-fascist, heir to the Italian nationalism that had long been championed by left-wing parties and the classic right. A charismatic woman, she knows how to spoil a crowd and defend her opinions. A motto she often recites God the Father is the family.
In the face of adversity, she does not hesitate to criticize her opponents harshly before anything else. In his eyes, no one has any favors, whether they are responsible for Italian political parties or European partners. If immigrants flock to Italian shores, be it Brussels or the French policy of shamelessly exploiting African nations, he begins a day bluntly in front of an audience he has won to his cause.
Throughout his election campaign, his favorite themes were those advocated by other European extremist parties. They go around Border control To better protect Italy from immigration and widespread Islamization, and to renegotiate agreements with the EU so that the country regains control of its destiny.
Like all European far-right leaders, Meloni rode these two promising themes to power. Now that he is the head of the state, he is forced to compromise with other parties to form a majority to implement his plan. This voting system imposes coalitions to secure majority and rule comfortably for the required time. Since 1944, sixty-seven governments have succeeded each other, making Italy the most politically unstable country in Europe.
Practice shows that coalitions in Italy are formed as soon as they are broken. They face the difficulties that arise and are unable to complete the mandate. We remember that in 2018, the coalition of far-right parties did not last more than a year. According to some studies conducted in Italy, alliances have lasted an average of 384 days since the end of World War II.
Shocked by twenty years of fascist dictatorship, the founding fathers of the current political system promulgated a constitution in 1947 based on the principle that no political power would ever have absolute power and dominate the others. It is this idea, essentially virtuous, that is at the origin of the political instability that Italy has been experiencing, and that the Italian political class has been unable to reform.
The executive, for its part, has little power over the legislature, beyond the voting system, partly in the form of constraints. It is divided into two chambers of equal influence in what some Italian politicians describe as bicameralism proper. These two organizations that own this property have the power to overthrow any government. In most other democracies this right is reserved for the lower house.
Beyond these difficulties inherent in the political system, Meloni must work as he promised to improve the living conditions of the Italians who brought him to power. The EU’s third economy, Italy, like its neighbors, is facing a difficult economic situation and inflation due to the energy crisis and the consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This task appears to be difficult, as he must, on the one hand, preserve the unity of his coalition and, on the other hand, create the conditions for real development in times of crisis.
The structure of his government, at this time, between the three powers that form the majority, is very balanced and reassuring to his partners.. Giancarlo GiorgettiA member of the moderate faction liq, He heads the Ministry of Economy. Antonio Tajani A former president of the European Parliament, Forza is aligned with Italy and close to Berlusconi. For foreign affairs. inside, Meloni chose it Matteo Piande, A high official in this department and a former prefect of Rome. such as Matteo Salvini Lega’s, he inherits the field Infrastructures While assuming the post of Deputy Prime Minister in the same capacity as Tajani.
Adjust the image of Italy
The intensity and enthusiasm that Maloney displayed during the election campaign to win the ballot seems to have been replaced by caution. Since her investiture, the tone used has become more reserved and responsible. In one of his party’s first statements it said: Italy is fully part of Europe and the Atlantic Alliance, and anyone who disagrees with this cornerstone cannot be part of the government..
This reality was demonstrated on October 23 when he met French President Macron on the same day he took office. Practical and constructive exchanges According to Macron, Loving and productive, according to Meloni. The latter seems to be following Marian Draghi’s advice to him never to alienate important partners of the Union, starting with Germany and France.
Maloney will have to face other realities. Limited by its political system that imposes weak alliances, and with greater economic capabilities than Spain, Italy struggles to be a listened-to great power. 1990s cases known as Clean hands, mani bulitThis coincided with the collapse of the Eastern bloc, discrediting the political class in the eyes of Italian public opinion and damaging the country’s image in the world.
It was certainly this disdain that forced the political class to focus more on domestic issues than an ambitious international agenda. Successive Italian governments have been unable to influence the European policy of opening eastward for the benefit of its Mediterranean environment. It is usually Madrid and Paris that are more closely associated with Mare Nostrum than Rome.
French intervention to oust Gaddafi’s Libyan regime was poorly received, unbeknownst to Italy, while Berlin dominated talks on Iranian nuclear power and Rome was conspicuous by its absence. However, Italy makes up for it by being a member of the G7 and participating in many peacekeeping missions around the world. One of the reasons for this downgrade is that foreign partners find it difficult to familiarize themselves with visiting Italian officials who are sure to be replaced at the first crisis.
Meloni came to power by riding a wave of nationalism that showed its limits because it was not focused on international issues in general, and more specifically on Italy’s greatness in the world. In the current political system, foreign policy has become part of an additional division between the various Italian partners, between those who want to strengthen ties with Europe and others who see salvation only in a strong Atlantic policy with Washington.
Of course, if he is in power, it is this image that the Maloney government will have to try to rectify. Further asserting itself within the European Union and strengthening its role within NATO organizations is essential for the country to consolidate the spheres of influence of important countries. But connections with Mediterranean and African countries are now a strength of royal power. The restructuring of the current global system is preparing for this grand ambition. Can she?
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