Italy plunges into the unknown after Giorgia Meloni victory

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Italy plunges into the unknown after the victory of Giorgia Meloni

Giorgia Meloni, 45, could become Italy's first female head of government.

A period of uncertainty began on Monday in Italy and the rest of the world. European Union following the victory in the legislative elections of Giorgia Meloni, at the helm of a coalition bringing together the right and the extreme right which will have to face considerable challenges.

With an absolute majority in Parliament, the leader of Fratelli d'Italia (post-fascist) and her allies Matteo Salvini of the League (anti-immigration) and Silvio Berlusconi of Forza Italia (right) will try in the coming days to form a government.

The slow counting of the ballots confirmed Monday morning the clear lead of Ms. Meloni, who won more than 26% of the vote. His party is now the leading political formation in the country ahead of the Democratic Party (PD, center left) of Enrico Letta, at 19%.

With the League and Forza Italia, it will have an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, and Giorgia Meloni has said he wants to lead the government, thus becoming, at 45, the first post-fascist leader of a founding country of Europe.

In her first and brief statement after the vote, she wanted to reassure, both in Italy and abroad. We will govern for all Italians, promised Ms. Meloni. We will do so with the objective of uniting the people.

A speech that carried some concern among some voters met Monday morning in the streets of Rome.

You have to have confidence, first because she's a woman, and then because the speech she gave was measured, said Andrea Fogli, a sixty-year-old artist.

Abroad, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne warned that Paris would be attentive to respect for human rights and abortion. For Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albarés, Giorgia Meloni's victory comes at a time when two role models are clashing in Europe. Populism always ends in disaster, he warned on Monday.

During the night, Ms. Meloni, on the other hand, received the support of the authorities in Poland and Hungary, but also the congratulations of the far-right Spanish party VOX and the National Rally in France.

In Rome, the right-wing press exulted: Revolution at the polls, headlined Il Giornale, the Berlusconi family daily, while Libero noted: The left defeated , (we are free!!!.

La Stampa detailed the thousand unknowns that Italy faces after the historic victory of the far right.

< p class="e-p">That this comes a month before the centenary of the March on Rome and the start of Mussolini's 20-year dictatorship is a coincidence: the Italians who voted for Meloni did not do so out of nostalgia for fascism, but the commonality between the fascist autocrat and Ms. Meloni is that they come to power at the end of a lonely marathon against everything and everyone, analyzes the Turin newspaper.

The new executive will succeed the cabinet of national unity led since January 2021 by Mario Draghi, the former head of the European Central Bank (ECB), called to the bedside of the third economy in the euro zone brought to its knees by the pandemic.

Draghi had negotiated with Brussels the granting of almost 200 billion euros in financial aid to Italy in exchange for deep economic reforms and institutional, a windfall which represents the lion's share of the European recovery plan.

Despite the stakes, several parties that had agreed to join his government (Fratelli d'Italia remained in opposition) ended up overthrowing him this summer, for purely electoral reasons, leading to the summons of anticipated legislation.

And while Super Mario, presented as the savior of the euro zone during the 2008 financial crisis, appeared as a guarantee of credibility in the eyes of its European partners, the coming to power of the nationalist extreme right, Eurosceptic and sovereigntist raise fears of a new era of instability.

Especially since Italy, which is crumbling under a debt representing 150% of GDP, the highest ratio in the euro zone behind Greece, is experiencing a inflation of more than 9% with gas and electricity bills putting millions of people in difficulty.

The Milan Stock Exchange was up on Monday morning as the far-right victory was widely anticipated by the markets. On Friday, the Italian place had fallen by 3.36%, suffering the largest decline among the major European stock exchanges.

Sign of persistent investor concerns about Italy's debt, the spread, i.e. the closely watched gap between the rate Germany's benchmark 10-year bond and Italy's 10-year bond soared to 235 points on Monday, up 6.68%.

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