Europe braces itself for Italy's Giorgia Meloni 'moment of truth'



Policy makers in Italy are trying to allay economic concerns about the country's political shift, insisting that a strong majority enjoyed by a democratically elected government is good news for international markets.

As expected, Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, alongside her right-wing allies Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, received the majority in both houses of parliament.

There has been much international apprehension about the change in political direction. However, Professor of European Union Policy at Luiss University, Luciano Monti, believes the new government can offer the stability needed to address the country's financial challenges.

"The fact that now we have a political government and not a technical one is good news," Monti explained. "We could not manage the energy crisis and help families struggling, from a technical point of view. You need a politician and finally we have one."

The broad coalition government led by technocrat Mario Draghi collapsed in July. The new government must now hit the ground running to address sky-high energy costs, rising inflation, record public debt and Italy's 200 billion euro share of the European Union Covid Recovery Fund.

"Meloni has promised not to increase public debt, which should receive a positive response from international markets. She will also work to stress Italy's position on a gas cap on energy," said Monti.

Far-right figures in Europe were among the first to congratulate Meloni, including the leader of the Hungarian government. However, other European neighbors expressed concern about the incoming government's social policies.

The French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said she would "monitor Italy's abortion and human rights" and the European Commission President has warned Italy of consequences if it "veers away from democratic principles."

Valentina Brinis is a part of the non-governmental organization Open Arms, which rescues thousands of migrants from the Mediterranean each year, "we are very worried about this new government because during the election campaign, they sent several messages against migration flows and against the International Human rights law."

Meloni has always pledged to support Ukraine, but her right-wing allies have been criticized for their close ties with Russia. Salvini is against Western sanctions and Berlusconi says Putin was "pushed" into his so-called "special operation."

The first sitting of parliament will be on October 13 when the new heads of the Senate and Lower House will be elected. President Sergio Mattarella will then hold meetings with political parties across the spectrum before he officially appoints Italy's new prime minister.

As the new government takes shape to mark a new era in Italian politics, Europe and the rest of the world will be watching closely.