By Lionel Baland / UME
While the two patriotic parties of Italy, the League and the Fratelli d’Italia, have been together at 40% for months, the balance of power between these two political formations has changed over time. Matteo Salvini’s League, which won 34.26% in the European elections in May 2019, has fallen to 21 or 22% in the polls. The polls of Giorgia Melonis Fratelli d’Italia, who got 6.44% in the European elections, rose to 19%. Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative party, Forza Italia, is given over 6.5%.
Giorgia Meloni competes with Matteo Salvini for the position of future Prime Minister
These three center-right parties are expected to win the next general election, which will take place in May 2023 at the latest. The leader of the leading center-right parliamentary group would then be given the post of Italian prime minister. While Matteo Salvini has so far been seen as the strongest contender, the steady erosion of the Lega in the polls and the rise of the Fratelli d’Italia now make Giorgia Meloni a serious candidate.
The appointment of Giorgia Meloni as chairman of the EP Group of European Conservatives and Reformists and the fact that the Fratelli d’Italia are in opposition to the government of Mario Draghi, which took office in February 2021 – a motley coalition made up of the system hostile 5 ‑ Star Movement (M5S), the Lega, the center-left party of the Democrats, the Forza Italia, the Italia Viva party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the left-wing electoral alliance Free and Equal, the Democratic Center, + Europe and Us with Italy – supported the rise of the Fratelli d’Italia.
I am Giorgia
Giorgia Meloni, has just published a book called Io sono Giorgia : Le mie radici, le mie idee (I am Giorgia: My roots, my ideas), in which she outlines her past and goals. On a broadcast on public broadcaster Rai 3, she made it very clear that she was preparing to lead the nation. She said her first steps would be policies of support for businesses through cuts in taxes and bureaucracy, as well as pro-birth policies.
Territory or Nation?
When asked on the Rai 3 program about the differences between the Fratelli d’Italia and the Lega, Giorgia Meloni said that the latter was more linked to a territorial dimension, while her party had the concept of the nation in mind.
For example, the Lega had defended Catalonia’s independence, while Meloni cannot because it believes the nation-state cannot be divided into two or more units.
Giorgia Meloni then made it clear that Lega and Fratelli d’Italia are indeed different political formations, but have similarities and convergence of ideas; she concluded: “I believe that we will rule together.”