Monday, December 4, 2023

Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni sworn in as Italy’s first female PM

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Along with her cabinet, Giorgia Meloni was sworn in as Italy’s first female prime minister on Saturday, establishing the most right-wing administration since World War 2.

Sergio Mattarella, the president of Italy, administered Meloni’s oath of office during a ceremony at the Quirinale Palace in Rome.

Meloni takes office at a particularly precarious time, as reported by the news agency, with Italy’s debt-ridden economy once again on the verge of collapse, businesses collapsing under the weight of skyrocketing energy costs, and divisions within her coalition over the conflict in Ukraine.

In a partnership with Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, Meloni, the leader of the nationalist Brothers of Italy, reportedly won a resounding win in an election last month.

Her administration, the 12th of this century, takes over from a national unity government led by Mario Draghi, a former executive of the European Central Bank who was at the vanguard of European Union attempts to censure Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February.

While Berlusconi has consistently undermined Meloni, who has vowed to assist Ukraine, he last week blamed Kyiv for the conflict and admitted to exchanging presents and “beautiful letters” with his old buddy, Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the news agency.

After many days of difficult negotiations, Meloni announced her choice on Friday, giving the League and Forza Italia every five ministries but saving nine cabinet positions for her own party.

The remaining 24 members of the team, which has just six women and an average age of 60, are technocrats.

Giancarlo Giorgetti, seen as a moderate member of the League, was given responsibility for Italy’s chronically underperforming economy and soaring national debt. Antonio Tajani, a former member of Forza Italia and a dovish pro-European, was given control of the Foreign Ministry.

Tajani informed the local media that his first course of action would be to phone his colleague in Ukraine and reassure him of Italy’s ongoing support.

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