New Prime Minister Abroad
Meloni announces “Italy first” policy – and criticizes Germany
Status: 01.10.2022 | Reading time: 2 minutes
“Everyone assumed an electoral victory for the forces of the right”
After Giorgia Meloni’s election victory, “relationships with the EU are becoming difficult,” says Italian correspondent Virginia Kirst. In addition, correspondents Philipp Fritz and Peter Heusch classify the election result from the point of view of Poland and France.
The German federal government’s €200 billion aid package has received little approval in Italy. Both Prime Minister Draghi and election winner Giorgia Meloni are critical of Germany’s “doing it all by itself”. Meloni now wants to act primarily in Italian interests.
According to the likely next prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, Italy in the future will focus more on its own concerns. The politician announced this Saturday in his first public speech after winning parliamentary elections nearly a week ago. “Italy must go back to defending its national interests first,” Meloni said in Milan. “That will change in the next few months.”
Meloni referred to the German government’s decision to spend up to €200 billion to help consumers and businesses deal with rising energy prices as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine.
At the same time, however, Berlin refuses to support a European price ceiling for gas, as requested by Italy and other countries. If her government takes a similar step, it should not be seen as a populist and nationalist response, but as a strategy to defend national interests, she said.
Giorgia Meloni in Milan
Source: AP/Luca Bruno
Even Prime Minister Mario Draghi had criticized the German government’s aid package as lacking in solidarity and going it alone. Meloni went on to say that states shouldn’t simply compensate for inflation by helping citizens. “Because then we give the money to the speculators. We must fight speculation”
Italy as a vassal of Brussels
Meloni also complained that Italy allowed itself to be bossed around by European partners and Brussels and was not given equal rights. She also made this claim during the election campaign and last Sunday won an absolute majority in parliament with “Fratelli d’Italia” as the strongest party in a right-wing alliance. It pursues a nationalist and protectionist policy.
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Meloni was speaking to attendees at an agricultural fair in Milan sponsored by the influential Italian agricultural lobby Coldiretti. She had been consulting behind closed doors with allies and representatives of the outgoing government since the Sept. 25 election. Only in the next few weeks is she likely to receive a mandate from the president to form a government.