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BBC on Italy's first woman prime minister: A far-right government will alarm most of Europe

BBC on Italy's first woman prime minister: A far-right government will

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in Italy's election and is on track to become the country's first female prime minister.

Ms Meloni is widely expected to form Italy's most right-wing government since World War II.

This will alarm much of Europe as Italy is the EU's third largest economy.

However, speaking after the vote, Ms Meloni said her 'Brothers of Italy' party would "govern for all" and would not betray people's trust.

"Italians have sent a clear message in favor of a right-wing government led by the Brothers of Italy," she told reporters in Rome, holding up a sign reading "Thank you Italy".

Meloni's right-wing alliance - which also includes Matteo Salvini's far-right League and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right Forza Italia - will take control of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, with around 44% of the vote .

Four years ago, the Brothers of Italy won just over 4% of the vote, but this time they benefited from staying out of the national unity government that fell in July.

Giorgia Meloni looks certain to become prime minister, but President Sergio Mattarella will nominate her and that is unlikely to happen before the end of October.

Although she has worked hard to soften her image, stressing her support for Ukraine and toning down anti-EU rhetoric, she leads a party rooted in a post-war movement that rose from dictator Benito Mussolini's fascists.

 Italy is a founding member of the European Union and a member of NATO, and Ms Meloni's pro-EU rhetoric places her alongside Hungary's nationalist leader Viktor Orban.

Its allies have both had close ties to Russia. Berlusconi, 85, claimed last week that Vladimir Putin had been pushed to invade Ukraine, while Salvini has questioned Western sanctions against Moscow.

Ms Meloni wants to review Italian reforms agreed with the EU in return for almost 200 billion euros (£178 billion) in grants and loans for the post-Covid recovery, arguing that the energy crisis has changed the situation. BBC


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