Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni set to take over as Italy’s first female prime minister
Giorgia Meloni, the right-wing Italian politician whose Brothers of Italy party won a plurality of the vote in national elections last month, announced Friday she had built a ruling coalition and would formally assume power.
Meloni, 45, delivered the news to Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Friday, and made no public comment.
“Giorgia Meloni has accepted the mandate and has presented her list of ministers,” presidential official Ugo Zampetti told reporters following the meeting.
Meloni is expected to be sworn in as prime minister on Saturday.
The soon-to-be head of government’s ruling coalition includes former PM Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party as well as Matteo Salvini’s anti-European Union party, League.
Hers is widely perceived to be Italy’s most right-wing government since World War II.
Meloni, who co-founded the Brothers of Italy party in 2012, has sought to walk back the party’s fascist roots, as well as her own teenage praise for former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
“The Italian right has handed fascism over to history for decades now, unambiguously condemning the suppression of democracy and the ignominious anti-Jewish laws,” she said in a video message to foreign press during the election.
“We fiercely oppose any anti-democratic drift with words of firmness that we do not always find in the Italian and European left,” she added.
Meloni’s government will be challenged by the looming threat of a global recession, as well as the rising cost of energy in Italy.
But perhaps the biggest challenge for the new coalition will be the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Meloni has been a staunch supporter of the Eastern European nation’s right to defend itself against Moscow — but Berlusconi and Salvini are both noted admirers of Russian President Vladimir Putin.