Giorgia Meloni, A populist Put To The Test Of Power

Six months after her arrival as President of the Italian Council, the far-right leader is trying to play the serious budget card to the full.

It embodies the hope of a European extreme right lacking legitimacy in the exercise of power. On September 22, Giorgia Meloni broke the glass ceiling, winning the Italian legislative elections at the head of her Brothers of Italy party. Installed since October 22 in the chair of President of the Council of her country, she has never ceased to show the world, and in particular Europe, that a leader elected on populist issues could manage without betraying his reckless election promises.

It is this fragile balance that it has since endeavored to maintain, not without difficulty, as evidenced by the rejection of its draft budget by its own majority at the end of last week, for lack of enough MEPs to vote it.

European Respectability

At the time of celebrating her six months at the head of the Italian government, this 46-year-old former journalist nevertheless enjoys a surprisingly flattering image in public opinion and the media, including outside Italy. As if her exercise of power had made her demonization credible, she who still struggles to condemn the Italian fascist past and regularly denounces the “Islamization of Europe”.

It is above all on the economic front that Giorgia Meloni has bought European respectability, adopting a prudent economic policy that respects the balance of its finances at a time when growth is slowing down. The astonishing resistance of Italian debt to the markets while rates are soaring is there to salute this attitude. On this side of the Mediterranean, the experience is obviously closely scrutinized by a Marine Le Pen who, after having failed twice in the presidential election, hopes that the third will be the right one. Her youngest Giorgia Meloni, whom she eyed with a touch of condescension a few years ago, has since shown her the way.

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