Inflation protests across Europe threaten political unrest

Italy’s far-right leader Georgia Meloni was sworn in as prime minister on Saturday, pledging to work closely with her international partners despite her coalition allies’ differing views.

In response to a congratulatory letter from Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO I tweeted Meloni: “I am ready to work with NATO. It is more than a military alliance: it is a bulwark of shared values ​​that we will not stop defending.”

Meloni’s positivity showed him Answer Congratulating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, she said: “Italy has been and will always be on the side of the brave Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom and for legitimate peace.”

But his pledge to work closely with NATO and support Ukraine contrasts with the positions of his two partners in his coalition government, who are considered close to Russia.

The leader of the far-right League, Matteo Salvini, is a longtime supporter of President Vladimir Putin, as is former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of the Forza Italia party.

This week, a recording of Berlusconi was leaked, in which he talks about his warm relations with Moscow and the gifts exchanged between him and Putin, in addition to blaming Zelensky for the war.

“We congratulate Georgia Meloni on her appointment as Prime Minister, the first woman to hold this position,” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “I look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government to meet the challenges we must face together,” she added.

On Twitter, she was pleased to have had a “good first call” with the Italian official, adding: “We will work together to tackle the difficult challenges at the moment, from Ukraine to the energy issue.”

“Let us work together for the good of Italy and the European Union,” wrote Charles Michel, president of the European Council.

The European Union expressed caution after the victory of the far right in Italy.

In Washington, US President Joe Biden congratulated the Italian prime minister and stressed that he “looks forward” to immediately continuing to work with her for the benefit of Ukraine. Biden is one of the first international leaders to congratulate Meloni.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz congratulated Meloni in a Twitter message, saying: “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Italy in the European Union, NATO and the G7.”

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen praised Meloni’s government, saying: “Through Europe, patriots are coming to power and with them the Europe we demand.”

To work

Meloni and her 24 ministers were sworn in at the Quirinal presidential palace in Rome on Saturday, in front of President Sergio Mattarella, and pledged to “respect the constitution and the laws.”

Only six women were appointed to ministerial positions, and they were assigned small ministries.

“This government team” will serve Italy “with pride and a sense of responsibility,” Meloni wrote in a tweet, accompanied by an official government photo. “Now, back to work,” she added.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Meloni’s family members, including her boyfriend, journalist Andrea Giamprono, 41, and their six-year-old daughter, Ginevra.

Meloni, 45, won a historic victory in the Italian legislative election on September 25, succeeding in polishing the image of her party, the “Brothers of Italy” of the neo-fascists, and exactly a century after the fascist dictator Benito came to power. Mussolini had taken power in her country, and Meloni had previously expressed her admiration for him.

The handover ceremony and handover of power between Mario Draghi and Meloni will take place on Sunday at the “Kiji Palace”, the seat of government near the Parliament, followed by the first meeting of the Council of Ministers.

Meloni and her coalition partners, Salvini and Berlusconi, enjoy an absolute majority in the House and Senate.

Berlusconi and Putin

The new cabinet reflected Meloni’s desire to reassure Rome’s partners worried about the rule of the most right-wing prime minister and most skeptical of the European Union in Italy since 1946.

Before the election, von der Leyen sparked anger in Italy by suggesting that the EU has “tools” to punish member states that violate the rule of law and the EU’s common values, if the far right wins.

The appointment of the former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, in the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, a member of the Forza Italia, and Giancarlo Giorgetti who accepts the economy portfolio, a representative of the moderate wing of the “League” and held a ministerial portfolio in the outgoing government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, This reassures Brussels.

Meloni faces a difficult task because Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, is witnessing, like its neighbors, a difficult economic situation due to the energy crisis and inflation, and Meloni will have to preserve the unity of his coalition which suffers from cracks. .

Salvini and Berlusconi reluctantly accept Meloni’s takeover after her party won 26 percent of the vote in the election, compared to just 8 percent for Forza Italia and 9 percent for the League.

The media reported on the exchange of words between the three leaders over the division of posts in Parliament and the government.

Economic challenges

Meloni, who is pro-Atlantic and pro-Ukrainian against Russia, was forced to confront Berlusconi’s controversial positions this week as he emphasized “re-engagement” with Putin and blamed the war on Kiev.

Meloni explained her course on Wednesday, stressing that Italy is an “integral part, with its head held high”, of Europe and NATO.

A message that resonated positively in Washington, Kiev and the Atlantic Ocean, whose Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg “lucked” Meloni.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter that he “looks forward to continuing the fruitful cooperation”. Meloni replied: “You are not alone! Italy will always stand by the brave Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom and legitimate peace.”

Meloni, an outspoken and conservative Christian advocate against homosexual rights, has vowed not to touch the country’s legal abortion law.

Her government is expected to focus first on the many challenges, especially the economic ones, starting with inflation and huge debt, which accounts for 150 percent of gross domestic product, the highest percentage in the euro area after Greece.

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