Antisystem, patriot… Who is Giorgia Meloni, the woman about to lead Italy?

Yanis Darras

Italians must vote this Sunday to elect their new Parliament. Among the big favorites of this election, the far-right party Fratelli d’Italia and at its head, Giorgia Meloni. The 45-year-old politician, religious, conservative and anti-system could become Italy’s first woman to lead a government.

Who will lead the Italian Council of Ministers next Monday and replace Mario Draghi? While voters are invited to vote to elect 400 deputies (out of the 630 deputies in the Chamber of Deputies) and 200 senators (out of the 315 in the Italian Senate), a favorite party emerges: Fratelli d’Italia, and at its head, Giorgia Meloni. The far-right party candidate, who grew up on the outskirts of Rome, is winning over Italians with her populist ideas and reassuring investors that she has no intention of bankrupting Europe’s ‘Boot’ . Nearly one in four voters would vote for their party, according to the latest polls, ie double the second favorite: the Ligua (the League) of Matteo Salvini, credited with only 12 to 14% of voting intentions.

A debut in the ranks of MSI

Born on January 15, 1977, the young woman is a rising star on the Italian political scene. As a teenager, she became involved in the youth front of the post-fascist movement MSI (Italian Social Movement). Interviewed by France 3 in 1996, the young girl did not hide her admiration for the dictator Benito Mussolini. “I think Mussolini was a good politician. That is to say, everything he did, he did for Italy,” she explained to the camera. And to add: “And this is precisely something that we do not find with the politicians of the last 50 years.”

Almost 10 years later, she became the youngest MP in modern Italian history, Giorgia Meloni was then 29 years old. And her progress did not stop there: two years later, in 2008, she entered the government of Silvio Berlusconi as Minister of Youth. She will remain there until 2011. Once again, she is the youngest person to become a minister in Italy.

“God, Family and Country”

Giorgia Meloni continues her journey at the head of a new organization Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) in 2014. The movement, founded two years earlier, presents itself as anti-system, anti-immigration and advocates respect for Italian traditions. A common point with its new leader whose motto is “God, family and country”.

Now the favorite in the general elections on 25th September next, Giorgia Meloni could take over as head of the Italian Council. A symbolic moment since she would also become the first woman to take this position.

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