Giorgia Meloni spoke at a press conference in Italy. courtesy

Italy’s government may be on the return to Fascism

In the upcoming elections, Giorgia Meloni is expected to win prime minister, and she and her government will be the most far-right since Mussolini.

Italy may be on the return to fascism, and the world is taking note. The Brothers of Italy, a far-right political party formed in 2012, is projected to win the majority in Italy’s parliamentary election. The government that presumptive incoming prime minister Giorgia Meloni will form is suspected to be the most far-right since Mussolini’s government.

While still only 10 years old, the Brothers of Italy party is rooted in the neo-fascist movement that arose in Italy following the downfall of Mussolini’s government. While they adamantly reject this idea, Mossolini’s own descendants, still carrying his name, are proud members of the Brothers of Italy. Additionally, video has recently resurfaced of a then 19 year old Giorgia Meloni proclaiming Mussolini to have “done everything he did for Italy.” She also referred to him as a “good politician.” In the 2018 election, the party only received 4% of the vote. As a result, the group took this as a sign and shifted their rhetoric to appear less nationalistic, although many believe this change was for show.

The new Italian administration is expected to remain pro-Ukraine and pro-NATO, both of which are pressing concerns for Europe. However, Meloni has made her stance on LGBTQ+ issues clear: she is emphatically anti-gay. Many of Meloni’s policies seem to be very similar to that of Donald Trump, proclaiming in a speech earlier this year that she says “no to mass migration” and “yes to secure borders.” In fact, Meloni has several ties to the former U.S. president and his administration. She proclaims former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon to be a close ally, and has spoken at gatherings of prominent American conservatives.

This Italian election was originally slated for this spring, but was pushed forward following the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi in July. This kind of election is called a “snap” election, and is not uncommon in Italy. The nation has a parliamentary election system, meaning that the people do not directly vote for the prime minister. Instead, voters pick the members of parliament, and those members vote to elect a prime minister. Additionally, because Italy has a vast number of political parties, those with similar ideologies must form together in parliament to create a coalition to elect a desirable candidate.

In recent years, the Italian parliament has reduced from over 900 members across both houses down to 600, making each member vote for prime minister all the more important.

When the Sept. 25 election was finished, the right wing coalition, dominated by the Brothers of Italy party, had won over 47% of the vote, with the left wing coalition coming in at just 28%. Analysts attribute the left’s poor performance to a lack of an effective alliance of its parties. While the Democratic Party managed to form a coalition with several smaller leftist parties, the Five Star Movement refused to join, and ran as a stand-alone. Winning around 13% of the vote on its own, many suggest that a more unified left will appeal more to voters in the future.

Post Author: Victoria Grossman