Has the exercise of power “softened” Giorgia Meloni?

This is the story of an investigation that falls like a hair in the soup. It is June 13, 2024 and, while Giorgia Meloni, crowned with its recent victory in the European elections, welcomes its guests to the G7 which is held in Italy, The media Fanpage publishes a shocking reportFilmed with a hidden camera, it shows activists from the youth movement of the Prime Minister’s party, Fratelli d’Italia, singing fascist songs and shouting “Sieg Heil” at several private events.

Once again, the post-fascist roots of her party are catching up with Giorgia Meloni, while since her election in September 2022, she has constantly presented herself as the representative of a moderate right.

A few hours after the end of the G7, on June 15, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recalled that “Meloni is on the far right of the political spectrum,” thus removing him from the political games on the next appointments at the head of the European Union.

Verbal slippages and economic pragmatism

But does this cordon sanitaire erected around Meloni still have any meaning in view of the line held by the Prime Minister since she came to power? The Stamp leans towards nobecause this government, argues the liberal media, has proven its seriousness. And this in several areas.

“The economic reliability test has been passed, believes this opposition newspaper, since the Prime Minister has given up on expensive projects concerning pensions, reductions in fuel taxes or even the abolition of the television license.” A judgment to which the most conservative The Messenger also fits when he congratulates himself on the path “borrowed by the executive, which has chosen the path of pragmatism or economic realism”.

However, at the dawn of the Fratelli d’Italia takeover, the economic chapter was not the one that most worried observers, who wondered rather whether the arrival of Meloni could lead to a decline in rights in the peninsula. A scenario that did not happen, still asserts The Stamp, who speaks of a “democratic reliability test passed”.

“The right has its reactionary ideas on rights, writes the transalpine newspaper, Nevertheless, the Orbanian drift has so far only been seen in verbal slip-ups, but, concretely, Meloni has not put in place an anti-migrant maritime blockade (an electoral project of his party) or abolished the abortion law.”

Credible despite threats to information

However, in these twenty months of exercising power, there has been no shortage of controversy on these subjects. When the majority legitimized the presence of anti-abortion associations within family planning centersfor example, or when a Agreement signed with Albania to transfer migrants there rescued at sea and have their asylum application processed in a non-EU country.

Less explosive, but more constant over time, the question of “The occupation of information by Fratelli d’Italia” raises the concern of The Republic, which recalls that this year Italy has lost five places (from 41e at 46e) in the Reporters Without Borders world press freedom ranking. “It is now the only Western European nation in the orange category, along with Hungary and Poland,” the left-wing newspaper worries.

Sometimes, alarm bells are ringing from abroad, but overall, the international press is especially quick to note the credibility that the Prime Minister has acquired in the diplomatic arena, and this for a specific reason: summarizes the British weekly The Economist : “Meloni has been a strong supporter of Ukraine.”

This is how she has gained a discreet credit with other Western leaders, and in particular with EU leaders, to whom she has constantly tried to prove that she is not “another disruptor like Viktor Orban,” point on his side Bloomberg.

Beware of “deep instincts”

So much for these first twenty months of government, but will Meloni maintain this conciliatory line indefinitely?

Worried, the American media outlet recalls that Putin and Erdogan had also shown themselves to be cooperative towards the West in their first years in power, before, “When their interests collided with those of the United States and Europe, their DNA was revealed”.

Obviously, note Bloomberg, “Meloni will never be like Putin and Erdogan, but if she were faced with decisive choices, her deep instincts could make her less benevolent. It will be up to European leaders to do everything in their power not to rush that moment, by keeping her inside their tent.”. In other words, as the saying goes The Economist, Meloni should not be ostracized, because “If she doesn’t see the point of working with the centre, she might be tempted to work with Marine Le Pen”.

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