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Right-wing alliance triumphs in Italy

According to initial projections, the alliance around Fratelli d'Italia, Forza Italia and Lega emerged as the clear winner from the parliamentary elections in Italy. According to calculations by the state broadcaster RAI, 114 to 126 of the 200 seats are held by the alliance of Matteo Salvini's Lega, Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia and the FdI led by Giorgia Meloni.

Published: September 26, 2022, 10:44 am

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    The 45-year-old Meloni is now likely to become the country’s next prime minister. Accordingly, the Fratelli d’Italia accounted for 26,2 percent of the votes (as of Monday, 8:30 am), which makes them the strongest force. In 2018, the party, which has a similar flame in its coat of arms as the fascist Benito Mussolini once had, was still at 4,4 percent.

    Meloni’s gains of nearly 22 percentage points more than offset losses from Lega, which is down to 8,9 percent, and Forza Italia (8,3 percent). In addition, the Italian electoral system favors alliances, with the right-wing alliance winning an absolute majority of seats in parliament despite only 43,4 percent of the vote.

    The clear loser in the election is the left-wing 5-Star Movement, which more than halved its share of the vote to just 15 percent. The Social Democrats took second place behind Giorgia Meloni’s party with 19 percent. They have already acknowledged their defeat and their intention to join the opposition.

    The echo in the media and the reactions from the EU Commission are devastating. There is much talk of the “most right-wing government in Italy since Mussolini”. Even before the polling stations closed at 11 pm on Sunday, the Vice-President of the EU Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), had warned that Meloni was a danger to unity in Europe.

    Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) had previously threatened underhanded measures against the third largest economy in the EU. “We will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools like in the case of Poland and Hungary,” she said.

    In response, AfD Bundestag member Beatrix von Storch tweeted: “Sweden in the north, Italy in the south: left-wing governments are so yesterday.”

    Voter turnout in Italy however appears to have fallen to its lowest level since World War II. Less than two-thirds are said to have cast their vote.

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