New Delhi: Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni has claimed the leadership of the next Italian government. Meloni, whose party came top in general elections, says she will seek to lead the next government and work for all Italians.
“Italians have sent a clear message in favour of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy,” news agency AFP quoted Meloni as saying. Meloni is on course to guide Italy’s most right-wing government since World War II.
Giorgia Meloni has had quite a journey, leading her far-right party to the brink of power. Meloni’s Brothers of Italy came top in Sunday’s elections, according to the first exit polls, while her right-wing coalition looked set to secure a majority in both houses of parliament, as reported by AFP.
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The 45-year-old has swept up disaffected voters and built a powerful personal brand. Meloni advocates traditional Catholic family values but she says that she will maintain Italy’s abortion law, which allows terminations but permits doctors to refuse to carry them out. However, she says she wants to “give to women who think abortion is their only choice the right to make a different choice”, AFP reported. Meloni became the youngest minister in post-war Italian history at the age of 31. She co-founded Brothers of Italy in 2012.
In the 2018 general elections, her party only managed to secure four per cent of the vote as compared to the projected 22-26 per cent in Sunday’s vote which has put Meloni ahead of not just her rivals but also her coalition allies, Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigration League and Forza Italia’s Silvio Berlusconi, in whose government she served in 2008, AFP reported.
Meloni has sought to reassure those who question her lack of experience, with her slogan “Ready” adorning billboards up and down the country. Wary of Italy’s huge debt, she has laid emphasis on fiscal prudence, despite her coalition’s call for tax cuts and higher social spending.
Her stance on Europe has moderated over the years — she no longer wants Italy to leave the EU’s single currency and has strongly backed the bloc’s sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine war, as reported by AFP.
(With AFP Inputs)