Italy: one year of Giorgia Meloni

Giorgia Meloni and her post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia have been at the head of Italy’s government for a year. Domestically, her government’s abolition of the citizen’s income and its ultra-conservative family policy have fuelled debate. In foreign policy she has proved more moderate. The press takes stock.

La Repubblica (IT) /

Trying to score points with foreign policy

In particular on the home front, it’s not all sunshine for Meloni, La Repubblica sums up:

“Meloni has invested in foreign policy with an unprecedented number of international missions and unconditional support for Ukraine. A move, however, that has not brought concrete results on the most burning domestic issues. ... The high energy costs and inflation are weakening purchasing power, and the public debt is at a record high. ... The markets are wary, also because of the tax on the banks’ extra profits. ... Now the campaign for the European elections is about to begin, which doesn’t look set to bring anything good and is fuelling fears of instability.”

Tommaso Ciriaco
Emanuele Lauria
Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Zero to zero at half-time

Corriere della Sera compares Meloni’s first twelve months to a football match:

“Despite its lack of experience in many positions, on the whole the government has shown that it can play in the international arena. But now the second half begins and the audience is murmuring: ‘I was hoping for more’. It hasn’t scored any goals, although it promised to do so on migration as well as taxation. But with score at zero to zero and zero growth, the country is not moving forward. This is how Meloni is seen after the halfway point of her first twelve months in Italy and abroad. ... In the polls she is still going strong, thanks in part to the complete lack of an alternative. A golden situation for the government. ... But it won’t last indefinitely.”

Antonio Polito
Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Reorientation towards the centre if need be

Meloni’s second year in office is likely to be difficult, predicts Marc Beise, Italy correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung:

“This is the year of the European elections, which take place in June 2024. Her goal, she keeps saying, is to unite the right. ... The Meloni clan needs allies. Until recently one might have said that the far-right in Hungary and Poland are her natural allies. However things are no longer that clear-cut. In Spain, which Meloni knows and likes, the far-right lost the election. True, she recently visited Viktor Orbán, an old friend. But it is also possible that, if necessary, she will orientate herself towards the centre, albeit reluctantly, seeking closer ties to the conservative party family from which she has so far been kept at a distance. Salvini already occupies the far right flank.”

Marc Beise