News from Italy: EU warned of major clashes with new far-right Prime Minister Meloni | World | New
A right-wing alliance led by Ms Meloni triumphed in Italy’s general election on Sunday, inheriting one of the heaviest debt burdens in the euro zone at a time of rising borrowing costs and a looming recession. Ms Meloni has pledged not to take risks with Italy’s fragile finances and to respect European Union fiscal rules, but coalition partner Matteo Salvini has called for the deficit to rise.
Fiscal rules aren’t the only issue Italy is set to grapple with in Brussels as the new government decides on new Cabinet roles.
According to a researcher associated with the Henry Jackson Society, Dr Helena Ivanov, the newly elected government will oppose the EU on social rights, immigration and future sanctions against Russia.
She told Express.co.uk: “The relationship between Italy and the EU is going to be more complicated than it was before. I think it’s absolutely no secret that Meloni, but also its coalition partners are Eurosceptic political parties, and they kind of want to run the Italy line first.
“So I think if we want to compare what we’re likely to see once this government is formed with what we’ve seen before with previous governments, I think the relationship is going to get more difficult.”
Asked to identify three major areas where Italy should have problems with European policies, she said: “Social justice and immigration.”
During the election campaign, Ms Meloni has repeatedly denied suggestions that she could roll back abortion or gay rights legislation, while reaffirming her opposition to adoptions and surrogacy for LGBT couples. .
She has also often spoken out against mass immigration, although she tries to downplay her party’s post-fascist roots and present it as a dominant group like the British Conservatives.
Ahead of the election, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned the executive was ready to use its tools against a “difficult” government ahead of the vote.
Addressing his comments, Dr Ivanov added: “I think the comments coming from the EU in the run up to the election probably didn’t help the EU cause, because we saw some of the representatives of this coalition respond to comments coming from the EU in a way that indicates that these comments are in some way a violation of Italy’s democratic rights and sovereignty and that the Italian people should be allowed to vote as they wish.”
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“I urge the next Italian government to ensure that this opportunity is seized,” Gentiloni, Italy’s former prime minister, said in a statement.
Ms Meloni said ahead of the election it should be possible to change the program to reflect the impact of the energy crisis.
The latest funding, still subject to final EU approval, will be invested in areas such as 5G telecommunications, tourism and justice system reforms.
Italy has already received some €46 billion in funding which is disbursed in the form of grants and loans.