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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Italy: PM Meloni Solidifies Power with European Election Victory

Italy: PM Meloni Solidifies Power with European Election Victory

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s party, Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), has triumphed in the European elections in Italy, securing 28% of the vote. This significant win positions Meloni as a major power broker in the European Parliament.

Meloni’s far-right Fratelli d’Italia achieved this success according to exit polls from Italian RAI. This victory not only boosts her domestic standing but also establishes her as a key figure within the EU.

The centre-left opposition party, PD, garnered 23% of the vote, while the populist Five Star Movement saw a decline to 10%, down seven points from 2019.

Meloni’s coalition partners had varied results. Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s Eurosceptic Lega party experienced mixed outcomes. Lega’s support dropped sharply to about 8%, down from 34.3% in 2019.

The strong showing for Brothers of Italy, compared to Forza Italia and Lega, underscores the shifting dynamics within Italy’s centre-right coalition, noted election analyst Francesco Sismondini.

Tensions within the governing coalition might arise due to these disparate results, suggested Andrea Renda from the Centre for European Policy Studies. He pointed out that other coalition parties might feel they are losing influence by remaining allied with Fratelli d’Italia.

Meloni’s role as kingmaker is highlighted by the attention from both European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of the centre-right European People’s Party and France’s far-right leader Marine Le Pen, both seeking her support. Le Pen aims to unite the EU’s far-right factions, while von der Leyen seeks a second term as Commission president and views Meloni as a credible ally.

Throughout her campaign, Meloni demonstrated her pro-EU and pro-Ukraine positions, moving away from her earlier Eurosceptic views, further solidifying her influence in European politics.

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