The prophecies were bleak when Giorgia Meloni took power in Italy.
But the post-fascist ruled silently.
Is there calculation behind it?
Munich – Judging by the fact that she doesn't have much time for Germany, Giorgia Meloni seems to feel quite comfortable in German society.
At the meeting with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in early January, she smiled broadly and warmly.
She recently met the head of the European People's Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, twice, and apparently they get along well.
On Friday, Italy's prime minister will travel to Berlin, later an inaugural visit to the chancellor.
She is received with military honors.
It's all a bit of a twisted world, because it wasn't long ago that the 46-year-old aroused great fears in Europe.
She of all people, the head of a party full of Mussolini admirers, would in future lead the third largest economy in the EU.
called her the "most dangerous woman in Europe", observers warned of chaos, the new one from the post-fascist Fratelli d'Italia wanted to make Italy a second Hungary.
After 100 days in office, the situation is a little different.
Giorgia Meloni: Post-fascist is inconspicuous in the first 100 days in office
Meloni governs the country, which is always in crisis, largely silently and pragmatically.
Contrary to big, expensive promises during the election campaign, she is continuing the cautious course of her predecessor Mario Draghi when it comes to the state budget.
The sharp anti-EU slogans (“The fun is over!”) are history.
Meloni is doing what nobody expected: she is constructive, especially towards Brussels.
According to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, it was President Sergio Mattarella who, after an early, violent scandal with Paris over the landing of refugee boats, “sworn them to a clearly pro-European course”.
Meloni "recognized that she had to change her profile in order to be a credible international leader," agrees the Italian political scientist Sofia Ventura.
"We experienced something of a metamorphosis."
Despite Putin friend in the government: Meloni assures Ukraine help in the war against Russia
Brussels fears were particularly great in relation to Ukraine, especially since Meloni's coalition partners - Putin friend Silvio Berlusconi and Putin fanboy Matteo Salvini - make no secret of their admiration for Russia.
But Meloni slowed them down, Italy is one of Kiev's firm supporters.
She even seems to have cut ties with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, once her role model.
The authoritarian Moscow understander does not suit her.
It's as if Meloni wants to make himself completely unsuspicious.
The only question is whether this stems from a new conviction – or calculation.
Cozy course with the EU: Meloni's metamorphosis follows a calculation - she wants money from Brussels
In any case, the cozy course with Brussels can also be explained very objectively: Italy is dependent on the money from the EU recovery fund, a total of 191 billion euros in grants and loans.
So having friends in Brussels is useful.
Critics also accuse Meloni of playing a double game ideologically: On the one hand, she renounced historical fascism at the beginning of her term in office and called the racial laws the "low point of Italian history".
On the other hand, she made her fellow party member Ignazio La Russa the powerful President of the Senate, a man who boasts of owning an apartment full of Mussolini memorabilia.
Meloni also remains stubborn about the controversial party logo, although it shows a stylized Mussolini coffin.
That doesn't harm her with the voters, on the contrary.
Promoted by an opposition caught in self-absorption, the Fratelli are in polls at 30 percent, with a large part of the approval coming from the middle-class conservative center.
According to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, it is the part of the electorate that “considers Salvini too vulgar and Berlusconi too corrupt”.
"Meloni knows how to serve this longing for a new Christian democracy of the right center." Her flirtation with the middle-class EPP should also serve this purpose.
The 100-day grace period is now over and, from Meloni's point of view, it passed without major upheaval in her ultra-right coalition.
That was also the goal: not to stumble over the first hurdles right away, to hold out longer than the umpteen governments before.
The restraint was useful, but it's not set in stone.
There's still more to come.