| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

EU chiefs congratulate right-wing Meloni on becoming Italian PM

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, congratulated far-right leader Giorgia Meloni on her election as Prime Minister of Italy on Saturday, saying she looked forward to “constructive cooperation” with her government.

“Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni, the first woman to hold the position of Italian Prime Minister,” von der Leyen tweeted.

“I count on and look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government on the challenges we face together.”

The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, also welcomed Meloni as Italy’s new premier, and tweeted: “Let’s work together for the benefit of Italy and the EU.”

The congratulations were echoed by the speaker of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who tweeted in Italian that “Europe needs Italy”.

US President Joe Biden also congratulated Meloni, saying that Italy is a “vital NATO ally and close partner”.

“As leaders in the G7,” Biden added, “I look forward to continuing to advance our support for Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for its aggression, ensure respect for human rights and democratic values, and build sustainable economic growth.”

Meloni, the 45-year-old leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, was named Italian prime minister on Friday, taking the helm of the EU’s third-biggest economy.

She named a former European Parliament speaker, Antonio Tajani, as her foreign minister.

Meloni’s coalition wants to renegotiate Italy’s portion of an EU post-Covid recovery fund, arguing that the current energy crisis should be taken into account for their disbursement.

But the funds are tied to a series of reforms and analysts say Meloni has limited room for manoeuvre on that issue.


    Source: France24