After Italy election: What is Meloni doing with Europe?
Created: 09/27/2022, 08:57
Italy has voted – on the extreme right.
The EU's third-largest economy is likely to be headed by Giorgia Meloni soon.
She is skeptical about the European Union.
Rome – Europe's right-wingers have been waiting for this moment for a long time.
France's model nationalist Marine Le Pen celebrates a "great victory" for the far-right Fratelli d'Italia.
Hungary's Viktor Orbán sends a "Bravo, Giorgia!" to his girlfriend Meloni in Rome.
AfD MEP Nicolaus Fest is jubilant: "France, Sweden and now Italy are showing that the future belongs to conservatism!" What's in store for the EU?
Italy election: Meloni wants to give back "dignity and pride" to Italy
Specifically, a Roman woman who is not very tall – but who has not been overlooked anywhere since Sunday evening.
Europe should also notice that if Giorgia Meloni and the right-wing extremist "Brothers of Italy" carry out the announcements made in the direction of Brussels.
The winner of the election wants to give back "dignity and pride" to the Italians, she said the day after the great success.
What exactly that means, Meloni did not specify.
She is very skeptical about the EU institutions.
During the election campaign, she was careful not to attack Brussels too aggressively – after all, she wanted to come across as responsible and state-oriented.
But once she burst out that the "fun" was over.
She repeatedly indicated her view that Italy was not respected enough, even disadvantaged, for example by Germany.
Italy: Meloni is initially dependent on funds from Brussels
As the leader of the opposition, she mostly did not vote for the rules of the European multi-billion dollar package to fight the effects of the corona pandemic.
At around 191 billion euros, Italy will receive more than any other country in the Union.
Because this huge chunk is only being paid out in slices and every tranche is subject to conditions, observers assume that Meloni will initially not seek a violent confrontation with Brussels.
The billions are urgently needed in the Mediterranean country.
Many are reassured that Meloni emphasizes that he wants to stick to his commitment to Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia.
Your coalition partners Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, as friends and fans of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, are more of a concern – but after poor individual results, the two are weakened.
Italy: Meloni as Ursula von der Leyen's opponent?
It is the first time in recent memory that one of the largest EU countries has been led by such a radical right.
In Brussels and other capitals, some fear that after the trusting cooperation with the outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi, destructive things are now coming from Rome.
"It will be uncomfortable for the European Union," said Nino Galetti, the office manager of the CDU-affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Rome.
He already identified a possible conflict.
Galetti can imagine "that Giorgia Meloni will act as an opponent of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen".
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The German politician caused an uproar in Italy last week when, when asked about a shift to the right in Rome, she said: "If things go in a difficult direction - I've already talked about Hungary and Poland - then we have tools."
Worrying proximity to Orbán and the PiS party
The 45-year-old Meloni is worried about Hungary and Poland.
The Italian is friends with Hungary's Prime Minister Orbán, while Poland's right-wing governing party PiS sits in the same parliamentary group as Melonis Fratelli.
Several proceedings are pending in Brussels against the two Eastern European countries.
It is hardly conceivable that Meloni's government will soon vote to cut payments of 7.5 billion euros from the EU budget to Hungary.
In Brussels it was said that they wanted to wait and see what would actually happen under a Meloni government after the uproar from the election campaign.
"Nothing is eaten as hot as it is cooked - especially in Italy," said an EU diplomat.
- by Manuel Schwarz and Michael Winde