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10 Jun, 2024 06:48

Italy’s Meloni solidifies power in EU Parliament

The prime minister’s party has strengthened its position following elections which delivered resounding support for the right wing
Italy’s Meloni solidifies power in EU Parliament

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy party won the vote in Italy for the EU Parliament on Sunday, as other right-wing parties made gains at the expense of ruling coalitions in both France and Germany.

Meloni’s party has won a decisive victory with a projected 28% of the vote, according to forecasts by state broadcaster RAI with almost 70% of the ballots counted.

Other members of her center-right coalition fared worse. Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party received 8.5%, despite coming in first in the 2019 EU election with 34%. Its once junior coalition member, the Silvio Berlusconi-founded Forza Italia, beat it with a projected 9%.

The center-left opposition Democratic Party is expected to finish with 24.5%, and the Five Star Movement with 10.5%.

“I’m proud that we are heading to the G7 and to Europe with the strongest government of all,” Meloni said at her party’s headquarters on Monday.

The Meloni-led European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) is projected to win around a tenth of the 720 seats in this year’s EU Parliament.

The right-wing prime minister came out of the EU elections with a stronger backing than German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Scholz’s party slipped to third place in the polls on Sunday, behind the conservative CDU/CSU and right-wing AfD. Macron’s Renaissance party gained around 15% of the vote, compared to 31% for the right-wing National Rally, prompting the French leader to dissolve parliament and call for a snap election.

Despite springboarding to power on a wave of anti-immigration sentiment, Meloni has shifted to support the current EU policies on asylum seekers during her two years in power. She has been a staunch supporter of Kiev in the conflict with Moscow, but has balked at NATO’s recent move to allow Ukraine conduct long-range strikes deep into Russia.