How Giorgia Meloni wants to lead Italy

Giorgia Meloni: Around two weeks before the elections in Italy, the right-wing party "Brothers of Italy" is clearly leading in the polls.

What positions does party leader Giorgia Meloni stand for? What arguments does she use to advertise? On-site visit in L’Aquila, a stronghold of the party.

In the city park in the center of L’Aquila, capital of the Abruzzo region, Giorgia Meloni has a home game. For more than five years, L’Aquila has been governed by a mayor from her “Brothers of Italy” party, and for the first time nationwide, the right-wing party has also provided the regional president here.

Several hundred people are waiting in front of the big campaign stage. Imo Moresi also stopped by after work. The 52-year-old says he doesn’t yet know who to vote for. Since he is satisfied with the mayor of the Italian brothers in L’Aquila, he now also wants to take a look at Meloni – after all, the mayor in town has tackled the problems “very concretely” and has done something for the reconstruction after the earthquake in 2009, the center revived to the satisfaction of citizens and business people and “jumped into motion” the public administration.

Annalisa, also from L’Aquila, stands in front of the stage with a party flag of the “Brothers of Italy”. She definitely wants to vote for Meloni, she says. “She’s precise, knows what she wants and is always well-prepared. And she’s reliable, sticks to her line. What she wants, that brings her forward.”

Giorgia Meloni / The promise of “good government”

When Meloni comes on stage more than an hour late, the current leader in the polls praises L’Aquila and Abruzzo as a model for Italy, as a “symbol of good government by the ‘Brothers of Italy'”.

And appoints the participants to “witness that we have leaders who have never lost touch with the citizens”; promises that the “brothers of Italy” will “talk to those who are affected by the problems on a daily basis” in the search for solutions. This is how the party wants to lead Italy.

The image: pragmatic, reliable

Close to the people, pragmatic, reliable and assertive: That is the image that Meloni wants to convey in the election campaign. So far, she claims, clientelism and party membership have decided on careers in Italy.

She countered this with a “healthy performance principle” – and outlined an Italy in which everyone “gets what he deserves”. This is aimed primarily at the education system, the “school of the ’68ers,” for which, according to Meloni, everyone is equal in the end. She, on the other hand, wants “equal starting opportunities” – then it depends on the individual who has to show what he can do – and then get something for it.

Tax evasion: a matter for non-EU citizens?

Performance principle: Meloni mixes this liberal-conservative topic with extreme right-wing theses, for example on the subject of tax evasion. One problem, she says, is primarily the foreigner. As is well known, the state only begins its tax controls after two and a half years – and numerous non-EU citizens would simply close their shops beforehand, disappear “into the void” and pay “not a euro”. The state, on the other hand, gets the money that others are withholding from “Franco Rossi”, the average Italian businessman from whom he has all the data.

Of course, she does not cite any evidence of this in her speech – but derives positions from it: In Meloni’s election program there is a demand that in future all non-EU citizens in Italy should pay an advance to the tax authorities before they are allowed to open a shop.

Attack on the issue of migration / Giorgia Meloni

On the subject of migration, Meloni accused the centre-left parties in her speech of having made sure that drug dealers and prostitutes in particular came into the country. On the other hand, not a word about their possible future European policy, nor about Vladimir Putin and his war against Ukraine.

Meloni tries to react to the discussion in Italy about her neo-fascist roots with a joke and imitates the sound of a meditating monk: she too practices contemplation every evening, does yoga, goes to the sauna – “I do everything I do must in order not to react to the provocations”.

The neo-fascist roots of the “Brothers of Italy” and their leader are a sensitive issue that Meloni obviously fears during the election campaign. On the edge of the stage in L’Aquila, a spokesman tried to ban interviews because journalists wanted to ask representatives of the party youth about their opinion on fascism.

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