Italy's Prime Time

By Alvin Paul and Varun Pillai

Georgia Meloni, the leader of the Brothers of Italy Party, is set to be the first woman in Italian history to hold the office of prime minister. She is expected to take the helm of the country during a particularly turbulent period for Europe, all while garnering significant criticism.

“Italy's new prime minister's governmental system is strongly rooted with the fascist system back in World War II. I personally believe that there will be a major political and economic shift throughout Europe, given Italy is Europe's third largest economic contributor, altering the political landscape from national unity to national supremacy,” junior Brandon Noguera said.

Involved with politics from a young age, Meloni joined the youth wing of the Italian Social Movement, a political party founded by former followers of Mussolini. She later became the nationwide head of the National Alliance, a political party that became the Italian Social Movement's legal successor in 1995. She was a councilor of the Province of Rome from 1998 to 2002, after which she became the president of the youth wing of the National Alliance. In 2008, she was appointed Minister of Youth, a role which she held until 2011. In 2012, she co-founded Brothers of Italy, a legal successor to National Alliance, and became its president in 2014.

Meloni, as the head of the Brothers of Italy and a coalition of conservative parties, leans heavily to the right in terms of policy, especially in regard to issues such as abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and immigration. Such conservative ideologies have brought her much criticism. Despite this, she makes a constant effort to distance herself and her party from its fascist roots, stating many times that the ideology was something the party had left in the past. On occasion, she diverges from other members of her coalition on key issues, such as the war in Ukraine, in which she and her party have voiced support for the Ukrainian army and opposition to Russia.

Meloni is poised to cooperate with both the EU and NATO, although critical of the former, on key issues for both blocs. These issues include sanctions on Russia, weapons for Ukraine and opposition towards Russia, although the sentiment from other parties in the coalition is more ambiguous. On the other hand, her election is another instance of populism gaining unprecedented traction all over the continent, such as with Hungary’s Fidesz, Poland’s Law and Justice and Sweden’s Democrats, all of whom are parties with similar conservative views that congratulated her victory in the polls. This falls in line with a general trend toward populism and nationalism across Europe.

“Populists try and provide simple answers to complex problems,” social studies chairperson Mr. Galvin said.

On the other hand, many associate Italian politics as unstable, with the election that led to Meloni’s victory following the previous government coalition collapsing, a common occurrence in Italy. This can provide a reason for doubt as to how much her government will actually be able to achieve.

Source by Morgan Oberwiler

Georgia Meloni's rise to power encourages many to predict that there will be a large political shift in Europe, influencing the interconnected world.

Amidst the political instability, public opinion seems to be quite mixed. Although her cabinet has not been fully selected, some are still optimistic about her coming to power.

“The way I see it, the press has already formed an opinion on her, but the people have not,” Italian teacher Signora Maniscalchi said.

Similarly, students and staff have mixed feelings about the woman that is set to be the first female prime minister in Italy, given her policy stances and political affiliation.

“Being a feminist, it is great that Italy is finally getting its first female prime minister, don't get me wrong. But, with her far-right views and the high probability of her causing instability in Italy, I don't think her election will be beneficial to the country. She will most likely cause more unrest and internal clashing between the north and south,” junior Joe Reo said.

If selected, many predict that Prime Minister Meloni's tenure is slated to be during one of the more tenuous periods in European politics. How she manages to lead the country through it all is yet to be seen.