Giorgia Meloni delivered on her pledge to secure a substantial majority over centre-left Partito Democratico (PD) with an alliance between her Fratelli d’Italia (FdI, Brothers of Italy) and rightwing Lega and Forza Italia. Jeremy Vine guest Mike Parry suggested the new far-right Government will seek to establish a new pattern of policy after 40 years of economic stagnation, putting into question the leadership and role of the European Union. Italy was one of the founding members of the union and could lead a significant resistance against Ursula von der Leyen’s reform plans.
Mr Parry defended Ms Meloni’s past eurosceptic views, suggesting the new Italian leader will look at Britain’s example to see whether independence from the bloc could help deliver economic growth for the country.
Speaking to Jeremy Vine on 5, he said: “I think this will spur them on to having a new way of thinking how to run their country.
“Femi, you say people look at Britain and say perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea [Brexit] – in Italy, they want to see how it works, to see if it is a good idea.
“The EU has done nothing for them, their economy hasn’t moved in 40 years. And all this lady is saying is, ‘let’s think of another way of doing it and, if we have to be independent to manage our currency, our own economy, then we should think about it.”
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European Commission chief von der Leyen had issued a veiled warning to Italy about the stance the bloc would take in the event of Ms Meloni securing the leadership of the country.
Speaking ahead of the vote, Mrs von der Leyen said: “My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together
“If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools.”
Georgia Meloni faces an ominous list of challenges, including soaring energy prices amid the ongoing war in Ukraine and a renewed slowdown in the eurozone’s third-largest economy.
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The other major conservative party, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, scored a little less than eight percent.
Ms Meloni’s alliance is split on some highly sensitive issues that might be difficult to reconcile once in government.
Mr Salvini questions the West’s sanctions against Russia and both he and Berlusconi have often expressed their admiration of its leader Vladimir Putin.
Only last week, Mr Berlusconi claimed Putin had been forced to intervene in Ukraine as he wanted to remove Volodymyr Zelensky to install a government of “good people.”