Washington Post: “Meloni challenges prophets of doom and surprises critics”

“His success could be a model for other right-wingers in Europe”

Giorgia Meloni ”challenged the prophets of doom, especially beyond the Italian borders”. And now, ”if you can ride the treacherous waves of Italian coalition politics and manage an economy that has been stagnant for about 20 years, your success could be a model for other right-wingers in Europe”. As the Washington Post talks about the ”first female Italian prime minister and more right-wing leader since the Second World War”, i.e. ”the first politician who in over ten years has managed to become prime minister by winning an election rather than through coalition maneuvers”. A success, continues the newspaper, obtained ”despite the hateful ancestors of his party, his efforts to ban foreign influences in language, food and culture to reaffirm the Italian identity and his nationalist, anti-immigration and anti- -Lgbtq”.

And yet, writes the Washington Post, ”when she was sworn in last October” one wondered if ”she would still be in office for panettone?”. And it is ” defying the forecasts of the (mainly male) experts ” that Meloni “remained in power at Christmas ”, and her power ” seemed even more solid ” ” when the dove moment arrived, at Easter ”. The Washington Post describes the prime minister as “telegenic, able to think quickly, smart” and recalls how she entered politics as a teenager. “Yet she came into office with widespread fears that as head of a party with roots in post-World War II Italian fascism, she would destabilize the world’s eighth-largest economy and send shockwaves across Europe,” writes the newspaper. With Meloni at the head of the government, ”Italy, analysts said, is too big to fail and too complex to be managed by a party with no government experience. The country’s venture with a marginal political force could prove disastrous as Europe struggles to maintain unity as the biggest war in 80 years rages on its eastern frontier”.

Six months later, Meloni presents himself as ”the former governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley” and not ”an Italian version of the representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.)” as ”many expected” . Also on immigrationwhich Meloni once described as a threat of “ethnic replacement,” per the Washington Post ”These days it is difficult to distinguish his policies from those of President Biden”.

On Meloni as a model for the right for Europe, however, the Washington Post speaks of ”bad news for the other exponents of the European right”. Or ”it will be difficult to replicate his secret recipe of acumen, good timing and luck”. Her acumen is linked to the war in Ukraine, where the prime minister showed resolute support for Kiev, including military support, laid flowers in Bucha and said alongside Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that ”the fate of the European Union and Western democracies it also depends on Ukraine’s victory against those who want to use force to trample international law”. All this despite ”the coalition partners of the Meloni government, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and former deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini” The paper then quotes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a longtime Meloni ally, who has failed to leave Putin, and France’s Marine Le Pen, compromised by Moscow’s past financial support for her party.

The Washington Post he therefore speaks of Meloni’s ”straight back”, which has contributed to reaffirming Italy as a reliable partner in the great transatlantic alliances, above all NATO. His role in the G7, which will oversee the reconstruction of Ukraine, is also growing. The newspaper then mentions “its pragmatic relations with Europe” which contributed to the confirmation of the funds allocated by the European Union to post-Covid Italy, those 200 billion dollars which represent the largest financial aid to a country Marshall Plan. Since she took office, and despite previous opposition to the EU, the Washington Post says that with the 27 Melons she has adopted only ”lots of smiles”. Also because ”the Italian economy would founder if aid ran out”.

But be careful, concludes the newspaper, ”any misstep could mean a quick end to her honeymoon”. It underlines that ”the average life span of post-war Italian governments is 14 months” and affirms that ”your partners in the government coalition are allies of convenience who could turn against you if they see an opening”.

In short, as the article reads, for Meloni ”his best chance for a full five-year mandate would be a good performance by the Brothers of Italy in next year’s European Parliament elections”. A sort of ”mid-term referendum on his performance and efforts to detoxify the radical right. If he can pull it off, he could fill the position for many more panettone”.