The leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy formation, Giorgia Meloni, partner and inspiration of Vox in Italy, and favorite in all the polls for the general elections on September 25, has denied that any “anti-democratic drift” will take place in the transalpine country ” in the event of being the winner. And she has also condemned fascism.
The 45-year-old Roman politician, an ally in Europe of Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox, and the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, has come out in the face of those outside of Italy who fear that he could take a sovereignist or ultra turn to the country, third power of the euro area and founder of the European Union. And she has sent a video in Spanish, English and French to the foreign media in which she explains that these days she has read articles in the international press about the upcoming elections. In them, she assures her, she is described as “a danger to democracy, to Italian, European and international stability.” “I have read that the victory of the Brothers of Italy in the September elections would be a disaster, that it would lead to an authoritarian change, to Italy leaving the euro and other such nonsense,” she says in Spanish, looking at the camera. And she adds: “None of this is true.” “In German I do not launch”, she pointed out after her in a tweet.
In the recording, sent to foreign media on Wednesday and published in Italy on Thursday, Meloni accuses the international press in general, without providing any specific example, of being under the influence of a supposed “powerful left-wing media circuit, which here in Italy it is very strong in the newsrooms of the newspapers and in the television programs”.
It also moves away from the traditional far-right positions with which the Brothers of Italy have been associated since their founding. He presents the formation he leads as the party of Italian conservatives”, condemns fascism and defends that the right in his country already consigned it to oblivion “decades ago, unambiguously condemning the deprivation of democracy and the infamous anti-Jewish laws”.
In addition, he has “unequivocally” condemned Nazism, but has expanded against communism, denouncing that the latter is “the only totalitarian ideology of the 20th century that is still in power in some countries, surviving its tragic failures. Along these lines, he charged against the left, which he accused of receiving “generous funds from the Soviet Union for decades” and of not condemning communism.
Since 2014, Meloni has led the Brothers of Italy, a party that emerged from the embers of post-fascism, as heir to the Italian Social Movement (MSI), made up of followers of the dictator Benito Mussolini. At the end of the eighties and beginning of the nineties, Giancalo Fini tried to camouflage the fascist origins of the movement and wanted to turn it into a modern right-wing force, but in 1995 it ended up dissolving and giving way to other small formations that emerged from the different factions of the M: YES. Fini founded the National Alliance, formation for which Meloni was a deputy.
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Although the MSI, openly neo-fascist and outside the constitutional arch, is far from Brothers of Italy; the logos of both formations share a particular iconography: a tricolor flame with the colors of the Italian flag, a design devised by the founders of the movement in 1946 and that represents the continuity of the post-fascist political tradition. Along with the hammer and sickle of the Communists and the crossed shield used by the Christian Democracy, it is one of the oldest Italian political symbols still in use. In addition, at present, several politicians who were active in the Italian Social Movement are part of Meloni’s party.
extreme right circles
The closeness of some exponents of Brothers of Italy with various extreme right-wing circles has been documented on several occasions. For example, last year, an investigation of the digital newspaper fan page evidenced the relations between some Milanese leaders of the party, such as the MEP Carlo Fidanza, and the businessman Roberto Jonghi Lavarini, known for being part of various neo-fascist groups.
Meloni will run in the elections in alliance with Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia. All the polls give a wide advantage to the coalition, which has agreed that, if it wins, the party with the most votes will be the one that proposes the name of the prime minister. The polls suggest that this responsibility will fall on Meloni.
Roman politics has been trying to present itself for months as an institutional and reliable leader, especially in foreign policy, with a view to a possible position in the Government. Meloni has again condemned “the brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine”, although less than a year ago in her biography she presented Russia as “part of the European value system” and “defender of Christian identity”. After this change, electoral interests can be glimpsed, since the new strategy of the Brothers of Italy goes through distinguishing itself from the more ambiguous positions of its allies in the right-wing coalition, which maintain a certain closeness with the Kremlin orbit.
Meloni also states in the video that his party does not have Eurosceptic positions and has reiterated his membership in the Party of European Conservatives and Reformists, “which shares values and experiences with the Tories the British, the American Republicans and the Israeli Likud”. The far-right leader has also claimed Europe as “a political entity capable of representing real added value for its citizens, with less bureaucracy and more capacity to influence big issues.”
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