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Matteo Salvini. Photo: Matteo Salvini. Photo credit: FWM

Calls for Italy’s conservatives to unite

Looking ahead to the 2023 Italian general elections, the leader of the right-wing "Fratelli d'Italia" (FI), Giorgia Meloni, has called on the Italian right to unite. In the recent mayoral elections last Sunday, the right-wing and conservative parties had consistently delivered sobering results and had been overtaken by the centre-left coalition.

Published: July 1, 2022, 10:43 am

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    Now FI leader Meloni declared in a video message on Facebook: “Stop arguing. The centre-right coalition cannot risk jeopardising the outcome of the coming political elections. I will ask Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi to meet as soon as possible to avoid further divisions.”

    Meloni referred to her party’s leadership role, which has “usurped the coalition” in cities where the conservatives have been able to achieve good results. Observers therefore also see Meloni’s message as a prelude to a battle for leadership in the right-wing camp, which in recent years has been claimed by former interior minister and Lega leader Salvini.

    But since becoming part of a multi-party government in Rome under technocrat PM Mario Draghi, the Lega has been in decline. The new heavyweight in the right-wing camp could be the Fratelli d’Italia under Giorgia Meloni.

    The rifts are also visible at the European level. While Salvini is leaning more towards a renewed European right with Hungarian head of government Viktor Orbán, Meloni is looking to Poland’s ruling PiS party and Spain’s Vox.

    However, Salvini and Meloni seem to agree on their assessment of the situation – since there is not much time left until the 2023 parliamentary elections, they apparently want to bring about due decisions soon. Salvini therefore already welcomed Meloni’s request: “In my opinion, the meeting can take place tomorrow,” he is quoted as saying in the media.

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