As the EU deals with Russia’s aggression against Europe’s east flank and the worst energy- and cost-of-living crises since decades, its balance of power is constantly changing.
Meloni will be Italy’s most right-leaning cabinet since World War Two if she wins Sunday’s election. Meloni’s coalition r egarding international policy has been despite her downplaying of her far-right past cracks.
Silvio Bernlusconi (the former Prime Minister of Italy), whose Forza Italia Party is part Meloni’s coalition, stated that Russia was “pushed into” the conflict with Ukraine. This underlines the challenges ahead for Meloni.
It will most likely affect Western allies.
A representative of the EU stated that all eyes are currently on Rome at the moment.
After a victory for the Nationalists of Sweden, there is concern that a “populist Front” could emerge in Berlin, Paris and Brussels. As the EU seeks to protect households and prevent recession, this would hinder EU decision-making.
Mario Draghi, Italy’s former prime Minister and president of European Central Bank, raised Italy’s profile and gave credit for the European Central Bank. He supported the French President Emmanuel Macron’s desire to integrate deeper.
Meloni’s intentions might be less obvious. Although she claims that her Brothers of Italy party is a mainstream conservative force, which has moved away form post-fascism roots, some Europhiles are skeptical.
“It is worrying that a founding member of the EU is in such a situation. It is a threat to the EU and Italy,” Rolf Muntzenich, a lawmaker for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats party, said.
German magazine Stern featured a Meloni photo on its front page under the banner “The most dangerous woman of Europe.”
Sources claim that Macron confided to Meloni his concern about winning. When asked publically, Macron expressed optimism about future relations with Italy.
Two examples of European democracies that were tested are Hungary and Poland.
Supporters of Viktor Orban (Hungarian’s nationalist Prime Minister) see Meloni to be an opportunity for Budapest to gain a new ally in the fight against the EU executive.
Zoltan Kishly, an analyst at Szazadveg (a pro-Hungarian thinktank), stated that Orban would “probably be able to rely on the support Italy in rule law disputes in EU.”
Officials in Warsaw are also optimistic, as the ultraconservative government is often on Orban’s side.
Zdzislaw Krasnodebskia, a Polish lawmaker, Law and Justice, stated that right-wing parties have more support than ever. This is an opportunity for Europe to make changes.
Rome-born Melonishares Orban’s anti-immigration views and the promotion of traditional family values.
However, she has pledged prudent financial policy to continue unity and support Ukraine against Russia with NATO and European Union partners.
She also attempted to assure potential EU partners that she was serious in a video.
“I understood that a victory for Brothers of Italy in September would result in a catastrophe. This would also be an authoritarian turn. This would result in Italy abandoning the euro and other absurdities. She claimed that none of these things are true.
Analysts and European officials claim that Meloni was in close contact to Draghi’s establishment to smoothen transition of power and to prevent Italy spiraling into economic crisis during times of economic volatility.
Marc Lazar, a specialist on Italy at the Paris-based thinktank Institut Montaigne stated that this was done to “make her realize how important certain topics are and that it is impossible to mess up.”
“SKY IS FALLING NARRATIVE”
Officials in Brussels don’t know how Meloni will manage Italy’s part of the European Recovery Plan. This plan is supposed to unlock EUR192 millions in return for domestic Reforms.
It’s also worth noting Italy’s interest rate are rising faster that those in the euro area, raising concerns about Italy’s debt.
According to a French government source Macron will meet Scholz to discuss how to deal with Italy over the next few days.
Officials from Italy’s former government advised Paris not to confront Meloni publicly. To avoid Paris being forced into a corner that could make it difficult to choose, this was done to strengthen ties to Orban.
According to a French source, the government claimed that the “Italians who spoke with me in Rome were telling” me: “Don’t give her into Hungary’s arms.”
Macron will not use the same combative language against Matteo Salvini, another hard-right coalition partner of Meloni, during the 2019 European Election Campaign. According to a second French official, he described it as an existential struggle between ‘nationalists and ‘progressives.
Pablo Simon, a professor in political science at Carlos III University Madrid, suggested that Meloni wins could help to energize far-right parties elsewhere as spiralling consumer prices harm households.
Washington White House officials responded to the concerns.
A US official said that this kind of “sky” narrative about the Italian elections does not match our expectations.
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