Italy’s Passing on the Right: What Happens Now?


Italy’s elections have just revealed their early results. The Italian voters, who over the years have become less numerous, have chosen the coalition led by Giorgia Meloni.

If the electoral result can be considered a praise to democracy, it simultaneously represents the failure of politics. Democracy has allowed a party (that until 4 years ago had less than 5% of the vote) to become the leader of a government that I would like to be able to define new, but considering the candidates and the elected representatives, starting with Meloni, it is everything but new. We do not yet know the names of the ministers and undersecretaries, yet we are able to recognize the surface of what they stand for. The failure of politics is evident, blatant, and incontrovertible.

The clear victory of Giorgia Meloni – who passed in less than a decade from the rear of centre-right to the head of a coalition in which radical positions have supplanted moderate and conservative forces – has been read by many as the antechamber of a new 1922, given the singular coincidence with the centenary of the march on Rome. This election, supported for most by the political campaign of the Democratic Party and its left-wing allies, does not fully grasp the reasons for such a large electoral success. Fratelli d’Italia rides a widespread malaise, rarely intercepted by a left-wing unable to go beyond the fetish of the “Draghi agenda,” expressed in mistrust (often and willingly overflowing into intolerance) towards all expressions and cultures of diversity. It also leads to the profound unease of large sections of the population, who have wandered in recent years between the Lega and the 5 Star Movement in search of concrete and effective answers. 

However, the concreteness heralded in the election campaign by Meloni could be dampened by the many pitfalls that will complicate the navigation of the new government. The contraction of the purchasing power of salaries, the survival of companies and businesses exhausted by the increase in production costs, and the veiled hypothesis that some essential services can be sacrificed on the altar of energy saving, are only three of the key issues that the inorganic black and blue coalition will have to face without delay. At the same time, Meloni is awaiting another delicate test from an institutional point of view: resolving any ambiguity about Italy’s international position. The heterogeneous positions of the centre-right both on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and on the lawfulness of the policies pursued by the chancelleries of Eastern Europe, to which the Prime Minister and Matteo Salvini, already look with undisguised benevolence. They have already raised the objections of the main European observers led by the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. Finally, it will be interesting to evaluate the attitude of the nascent executive on the issue of funding linked to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan: Brussels awaits the approval of the reforms already announced by the Draghi government, to which the disbursement of large portions of EU funds is bound. 

The slimming treatment that the Parliament was subject to in the 2020 referendum deprived the smaller regions of a solid parliamentary representation. This representation is necessary now more than ever to bring to the attention of public opinion issues forgotten in the course of the electoral campaign, from the depopulation of small towns to the “demographic winter” that threatens the stability of our welfare state. Secondly, the next Parliament will largely welcome long-term politicians, to the detriment of women and young people who had also found space in the two previous legislatures. We should be scared of tomorrow.

Featured image by: Onda Cero

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