The European right is celebrating the projected victory of Giorgia Meloni in the Italian elections. Everyone else anxiously watches what happens next.
Meloni will lead Italy’s most right-wing government since Benito Mussolini after the coalition led by his Brothers of Italy party won around 44 percent of the vote on Sunday.
On Monday morning, Europe’s leading politicians began reacting to Italy’s seismic outcome.
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne did not comment directly, but stressed the importance of European governments respecting democratic values, in remarks that could rankle the new leadership in Rome.
Speaking in french radioBorne said: “What the president of the Commission is saying is that in Europe we have a certain amount of values and that, obviously, we will be attentive […] to the fact that these values on human rights, on respect for others, in particular respect for the right to abortion, are respected by all”.
He added that von der Leyen was “in his right” to remember that “in Europe we have values. Every state must be in line with these values, about the rule of law, about human rights, about respecting the right to abortion.”
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares of the Socialist Party took a more forceful approach, saying that “populism always ends in catastrophe.”
“It is a time of uncertainty and in times of uncertainty, populism always gains importance and always ends in the same way: in catastrophe,” he said. saying the Spanish press.
Right-wing politicians, on the other hand, welcomed Meloni’s victory. polish prime minister Mateusz Morawieckiwhich has been in disagreement with Brussels, congratulated Meloni.
Balázs Orbán, a close associate of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, tweeted his congratulations to Meloni, Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, whose parties are ready to form a right-wing alliance at the top of Italy’s government: “In these difficult times, we need more than ever friends who share a common vision and approach to Europe challenges.”
The comments come after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned against Italy’s possible shift to the right last week, saying the EU would be ready to work with democratic governments and had tools it could use if “things are going in a difficult direction”. in Hungary and Poland. This was a clear reference to the Commission’s ability to cut funding allocated to EU governments when they are seen to be in breach of rule of law principles.
On Monday, Eric Mamer, the commission’s chief spokesman, said it “never comments on the results of national elections.” He added: “We look forward to constructive cooperation with the new Italian authorities.”
Far-right French politicians Eric Zemmour and Marina LePenboth contenders who lost in the presidential elections last spring, cheered Meloni’s victory and praised the decision of the Italian people.
zemour highlighted The Swedish elections last week, where the right-wing parties were victorious: “From Sweden to Italy, we have been living in recent weeks the second victorious right-wing union in Europe, whose cement is, in fact, the question of the identity”.
In Spain, the far-right party Vox concluded that Meloni’s victory showed “the path of a new Europe of free and sovereign nations.”
Elena Giordano contributed reporting. This article was updated.