“This is not the first time we have faced a government with an extremist movement, whether it be the far right or the far left. This is not a new phenomenon in the EU“, said the Judicial Commissioner, Didier Reenders. EU Watching with concern this Sunday’s elections in Italyin which all the polls gave the right-wing coalition of the Italian brothers a victory Georgia Mellonialliance Matteo Salvini and Forza Italia Silvio Berlusconi.
As the Italian Brotherhood is the largest party on the right, the new prime minister It could very well be a post-fascist MeloniBoth she and Salvini have been outspoken Europhobics in the past and have considered leaving the euro zone. The two — and Berlusconi — have expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin at some point.
The fear in European capitals lies in New Italian government undermines Kremlin sanctions At the most delicate moment of the war in Ukraine.Or Rome starts a drift of budget control, triggering New Debt Crisis in the Eurozone (Italian debt exceeds 150%).Brussels has had a bad experience in this regard: in 2018 it had to Budget cuts for 5-Star populist government and alliance Because they represent an “unprecedented” violation of the Stability Pact.
despite frequent outbursts during the campaignMeloni has worked hard in recent weeks to appease Brussels’ concerns and soften its more radical imageIn its joint plan, the right-wing coalition pledged to continue to support European integration and to respect the commitments made within the framework of NATO to support Ukraine against Russian aggression.
“It’s hard to say what this means for EU cohesion. Salvini is critical of the EU on immigration policy or Russia. Meloni sounds very different. We’ll have to see what happens. Some words were said during the campaign, but the actual situation behind the government is different. We have to be careful to assume that Italy will suddenly change on very important issues like the war in Ukraine or energy,” said one European diplomat.
“European leaders are bracing for a more troublesome phase in EU-Italy relations. I don’t think they underestimate the potential problems. But it’s also important not to overuse them. Meloni will try to be tough on the EU, but in the end she doesn’t want to risk losing money from the Next Generation Recovery Fund,” said Luigi Scazzieri, a researcher at the research centre European Centre for Reform.
“Italy is Financially fragile to withstand confrontation with EU partners. But there will be issues where the Meloni government will make a fuss, like immigration or defending the interests of Italian companies,” Scazziri said.
In fact, Italy is the main beneficiary of next-generation aid, ahead of Spain with 191.5 billion euros. In its plan, the right-wing coalition announced it would try to make changes to the recovery plan, but always struck a deal with Brussels.
Economic Affairs Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, warns that the room for change is very limited.and European Central Bank The (ECB) has said that Rome’s implementation of the reforms demanded by Brussels is one of the conditions for launching a new tool to control risk premiums: Italy’s debt is the worst-hit country since the start of the war with interest rate hikes.
In any case, a right-wing coalition ready to govern Italy, despite Meloni’s leadership and Salvini’s presence, Has coverage of the European People’s Party (PPE), owned by the President Ursula Von der Leyen. EPP president, also German Manfred Weber, asserts the Europeanism of Berlusconi and his deputy Antoni Tajani, who was a member and president of the European Parliament.
“I am very surprised by the final plan of the center-right coalition“It’s clear that he supports European integration, he reaffirms transatlantic cooperation with our American friends, his role in NATO and European values,” Weber said in an interview. Corriere della Sera.
“Meloni is a friend of the Hungarian Viktor Orbán who was expelled from the EPP, doesn’t that make you uncomfortable?” they asked. “I support Forza Italia, I don’t have to defend the other parties. The main thing is the alliance agreement with the common plan: the pro-European and Atlanticist approach is very clear. No doubt,” Weber replied.
European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans delivered his harshest criticism of Melloni in Brussels as the leader of Europe’s Social Democrats. “Let’s be clear: I don’t know sovereignists who don’t oppose European institutions.so no matter what they say today. Polish Kaczynski, for example, is against both Russia and Brussels and European institutions. Sovereignists do not tolerate doing things together,” he said in an interview with La Repubblica.
“I still have faith in Italian democracy and its institutions. Instead, I fear the social and moral agenda of the right. Think about what they think of women. I see the radical right wanting to reopen the debate about right-wing same-sex unions. This moral and social agenda will take us back at least three decades“, Timmermans insisted.
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