It’s too early to say for sure what the new government will be in Italy. The right-wing coalition, while massively outperforming the left, does not have an outright majority. It’s also a coalition of several parties, which is inherently unstable. Italian patriots have a right to be joyful, but let’s not get too carried away.
However, for now, bask in the panic of the journalists, for the nationalist right has won.
Italy appeared to turn a page of European history on Sunday 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.
Early projections based on a narrow sampling of precincts, as well as exit polls, on Sunday night suggested that Ms. Meloni, the leader of the nationalist Brothers of Italy, a party descended from the remnants of fascism, had led a right-wing coalition to a majority in Parliament, defeating a fractured left and a resurgent anti-establishment movement.
Giorgia Meloni Leads Voting in Italy in Breakthrough for Europe’s Hard Right, by Jason Horowitz, New York Times, September 25, 2022]
That’s quite an excitable tone from the once staid Grey Lady. The New York Times really has become indistinguishable from just a far left blog.
Then again, so has The Atlantic. With the clickbait title of The Return of Fascism in Italy, one Ruth Ben-Ghiat gave us this on September 23, 2022:
”The election of the first woman prime minister in a country always represents a break with the past, and that is certainly a good thing,” Hillary Clinton said to an Italian journalist at the Venice International Film Festival earlier this month. She was speaking of Giorgia Meloni, a member of the Chamber of Deputies, who could make history if the Brothers of Italy party does as well as expected in Sunday’s elections.
That would be one sort of break with the past. But Meloni would also represent continuity with Italy’s darkest episode: the interwar dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. As Clinton would surely concede, this is not such a good thing.
If Meloni comes to power at the end of this month, it will be as head of a coalition whose other members—Matteo Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia—were each once the main force on Italy’s populist right. Brothers of Italy, which was polling at 23 percent earlier this month, has overtaken these more established parties and would represent the bloc’s largest component.
Brothers of Italy, which Meloni has led since 2014, has an underlying and sinister familiarity. The party formed a decade ago to carry forth the spirit and legacy of the extreme right in Italy, which dates back to the Italian Social Movement (MSI), the party that formed in place of the National Fascist Party, which was banned after World War II. Now, just weeks before the 100th anniversary of the March on Rome—the October 1922 event that put Mussolini in power—Italy may have a former MSI activist for its prime minister and a government rooted in fascism. In the words of Ignazio La Russa, Meloni’s predecessor as the head of the Brothers of Italy: “We are all heirs of Il Duce.”
Leave aside Clinton’s insinuation that breaking with the past is ”always” a good thing. Meloni is a longtime political activist and her national conservatism is hardly characteristic of the blackshirts. She’s moderated her party greatly and the language about defending the Italian people and their unique identity is hardly uncontroversial, at least when it comes to the way Our Democracy’s leaders talk about Ukraine [Italians Vote in Crucial Election on Sunday, by Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, September 22, 2022].
However, when it comes to Italy, it’s all sensationalist propaganda. The average American, who has no idea about the politics of Italy, will wake up tomorrow thinking the Axis Powers have returned.
Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in a general election that seems set to install her as Italy’s first female prime minister, leading the most far-right government since the fascist era of Benito Mussolini.
Addressing the media and supporters in the early hours of Monday morning, Meloni said it was “a night of pride for many and a night of redemption.”
“It’s a victory I want to dedicate to everyone who is no longer with us and wanted this night,” she said. “Starting tomorrow we have to show our value … Italians chose us, and we will not betray it, as we never have,” she said.
Preliminary results put an alliance of far-right parties, led by Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, on track to win at least 44% of the vote, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.
With 63% of votes counted, the ultra-conservative Brothers of Italy party had won at least 26%, with coalition partners the League, led by Matteo Salvini, taking around 9% and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia scoring over 8%. Final results are expected later Monday, but it’s expected to take weeks for a new government to be formed.
Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party – whose origins lie in post-war fascism – has seen an astronomical rise in popularity in recent years, having won just 4.5% of the vote in the last elections, in 2018.
[Giorgia Meloni appears set to become Italy’s most far-right prime minister since Mussolini, by Kara Fox et al., CNN, September 25, 2022]
The question is whether Meloni will be able to both hold her right-wing coalition together and deliver economic growth. The latter might depend on her lightening up on sanctions against Russia, something her coalition partners have already broached. This seems to be the major fear of the international media.
The EU already threatened Italy this week, something Italians ignored.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has warned Italy of consequences should it veer away from democratic principles, issuing a barely veiled threat ahead of Sunday’s election that a rightist bloc led by Giorgia Meloni is expected to win.
The comments highlighted concern in some European capitals over the forthcoming election and suggested that relations between Brussels and Rome could get turbulent if Meloni and her partners secure victory.
”My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together,” von der Leyen said at Princeton University in the United States on Thursday, responding to a question on whether there were any concerns with regard to the upcoming elections in Italy.
”If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools,” she added.
[EU’s von der Leyen delivers veiled warning to Italy’s right wing, Reuters, September 23, 2022]
As with Poland and Hungary, it seems that if you don’t vote the way unelected bureaucrats in Brussels tell you to, you cease to be a ”democracy.”
The way things are going, powers like France and Germany who think they can use the EU to bully nationalist governments should think about what they have set in motion. It’s possible nationalists could constitute a majority of the EU sooner than many think. Perhaps the European Union can actually become a true European Union rather than an anti-European prisonhouse. Perhaps patriots will someday rule from Brussels and tell the treasonous occupation governments of Paris and Berlin that nationalists ”have tools” to force them to stop betraying their peoples.