The far right on the march in Europe

The collapse last week of Italy’s government under Mario Draghi created the potential for the country’s first far-right leader since Benito Mussolini.

Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), a neo-conservative and right-wing populist party led by Giorgia Meloni, has its roots in Mussolini’s Fascist National Party and its post-war successor, the Italian Social Movement. In recent times, Fratelli d’Italia has gone from barely 4% of the vote in the 2018 general elections to being the most popular. With a snap election facing the country on September 25 following Draghi’s resignation, Meloni is seeking to become Italy’s first female prime minister. His party leads an alliance that includes Matteo Salvini’s far-right League party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia. The alliance is expected to win a clear majority in the September ballot.

Meloni, 45, was born in the popular neighborhood of Garbatella in Rome. She helped found Fratelli d’Italia in 2012 and took over as its leader in 2014. The party leader has tough views on mass immigration, has described abortion as a “defeat” and opposes the same-sex marriage and parenthood.

In June, addressing a rally in Spain organized by Spain’s far-right Vox party, she said: “Yes to the natural family! No to LGBT lobbies!”

After losing one of its most credible post-war leaders in Draghi last week, Italy may now face the prospect of having a woman as prime minister with concrete ties to its political creations. least credible before the war, Mussolini.

Meloni promises radical and historic change, but is Italy, or Europe for that matter, ready for Giorgia Meloni?

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