The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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What will Giorgia Meloni’s victory mean?

Noel Grima Sunday, 25 September 2022, 07:20 Last update: about 3 months ago

Our nearby neighbour will hold an early general election today and almost all predictions say the new prime minister will be Giorgia Meloni from the Fratelli d’Italia party and head of the centre-right coalition.

Beyond the shifting of votes from the Left to the Right, the Centre-Right should have won the previous election too but at that time the Centre-Right was riddled with squabbles and the Centre-Left was more united and so it got to form a government under Mario Draghi.

Then, as we all know, the Centre-Left coalition simply disintegrated and remains not on speaking terms with each other. Which is why an election had to be called when people are still with summer holidays on their minds.

Meloni, on the other hand, has been working very hard, removing offending bits from her campaign, including the pledge to take Italy out of the EU, and the stigma of her party’s fascist antecedents, and smoothing the offensive bits out of the two other parties in the Centre-Right platform, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s Lega (formerly Lega Nord).

The Centre-Left is in panic mode as can be seen in reputable papers like La Repubblica throwing their weight behind the Stop Giorgia campaign. Attempts to turn Meloni into a witch founder on the rocks of a new and even moderate Meloni she is projecting.

This is even better than the efforts by Marine le Pen to detoxify her image before the last presidential election. Le Pen didn’t make it. Will Meloni succeed where Le Pen didn’t?

Or is the Italian electorate any different from the French one?

Meloni is a key figure in the European political landscape, especially if she gets to win. She is inspired by Hungary’s Viktor Orban and closely followed by Spain’s Vox, apart from Le Pen of course.

A Centre-Right win in Italy can increase the sovranist, anti-Brussels trend and maybe too the pro-Putin forces on the European mainland.

A Meloni victory will thus be a victory for nationalism and for the reinforcing of Europe’s Christian heritage. Above all, it will mean dire times for refugees, asylum seekers and the NGOs helping them. And those who benefited from the Centre-Left bounty like gays and pro-abortion enclaves.

Will a Centre-Right Italy become a better place as a result of today’s vote? Many provinces in central Italy which had become rich and fruitful as a result of long years under the Centre-Left have swung to the Centre-Right. The Centre-Left has struggled to deal with an economy based on government help. The real problem is how to deal with the swathes of poverty from Rome to Sicily where thousands of youths are busily seeking new pastures out of the mother country.

With regards to Malta, a Meloni victory will increase checks and controls on migrants and asylum seekers. Daily stories surface in Italy of asylum seekers and actually all those with a dark skin being subjected to abuse. It would even seem this abuse there is more rabid than anything we experience here.

In both countries there has been a slithering process of integration that is hard to undo, while in Italy, it would seem, more people volunteer to learn the host language than they do here (unless that means learning English).

Like the rest of Europe, Italy suffered from Covid and is now being exposed to the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In Draghi it had a prime minister who had almost single-handedly saved the Euro. Its economy was moving along the right path – until the smaller parties started squabbling and the bigger parties simply gave up.


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