| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Meloni to head new right-wing Italian government

A presidential official said on Friday that Giorgia Meloni had consented to join Italy’s next government, paving the path for her to become the nation’s first female prime minister.

Meloni, the leader of the nationalist Brothers of Italy, led a coalition of conservative parties to victory in an election on September 25 and will lead the most right-wing administration in the nation’s history.

“Giorgia Meloni has accepted the mandate and has presented her list of ministers,” the presidential official Ugo Zampetti told reporters after Meloni had consulted with President Sergio Mattarella in his Quirinale palace.

The new government will be formally sworn in on Saturday morning, after which it will face confidence votes in both houses of parliament next week.

Meloni heads a coalition including Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League.

Italy’s 68th government since 1946 faces daunting challenges, including a looming recession, rising energy bills and how to present a united front over the Ukraine war.

It will replace a national unity government led by former European Central Bank head Mario Draghi, who attended a European Union summit in Brussels on Friday in one of his last acts as prime minister.

Although the process of putting together a new administration has been rapid by Italian standards, it has exposed tensions in the coalition, with Berlusconi repeatedly appearing to try to undermine Meloni’s authority.

  • Reuters