Italy’s election goes hard right

Italy’s election goes hard right
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Islam News – Italy turned to a new page in European history by electing a hard-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni, whose long record of bashing the European Union, international bankers and migrants has sown concern about the nation’s reliability in the Western alliance.

Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy, descended from the remnants of fascism. With 26 percent of the vote, the highest of any single party, the results made it almost certain that she would become Italy’s first female prime minister.

Despite reassurances from Meloni — who would be the first far-right nationalist to govern Italy since Mussolini — that she has moderated her views, it is hard for European leaders to escape a degree of dread. Despite the E.U.’s success with a pandemic recovery fund and with confronting Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the appeal of nationalists and populists — potential threats to European ideals and cohesion — is spreading.

While Meloni is a strong supporter of Ukraine, her coalition partners deeply admire Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and have criticized sanctions against Russia. Italian popular opinion is traditionally sympathetic toward Moscow, and with all of the war’s domestic economic costs, Meloni may take a less firm view than the previous prime minister as it continues.

Meloni’s victory, in a low-turnout election, comes as formerly taboo and marginalized parties with Nazi or fascist heritages are entering the mainstream — and winning elections — across Europe.

What’s next: The Italian establishment is confident that a system built with numerous checks to stop another Mussolini — even at the cost of paralysis — will constrain Meloni. It’s more worried about her party’s lack of competence.

Source: The New York Times

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