Meloni to stand in European elections

Meloni to stand in European elections


Premier Giorgia Meloni has announced that she will stand as a candidate for her right-wing Brothers of Italy (FdI) party in June’s European elections.

“If you want to tell me that you still believe in me, write Giorgia on the ballot, because I am, and always will be, one of you,” Meloni told a party event in Pescara on Sunday.

“Power will not change me, the palace (of power) will not isolate me.

“I am proud to be one of the people”.

Meloni has no intention of actually taking up a seat in the European Parliament. Instead she will forego it and continue to lead the government and her party in Italy and represent FdI in the Italian Lower House.

The logic is that, by standing, her profile will attract voters.

She has said FdI is aiming to win around 26% of the vote, the same level it obtained in the 2022 general election that thrust her to power.

Meloni added her aim was also to force the Left “into opposition in Europe too”.

Meloni at the FdI conference

Matteo Salvini, Deputy Premier and Transport Minister, was not present at the event; unsurprisingly as he is the leader of the League party. Meloni joked about his absence saying he preferred ‘the bridge’. ‘Il Ponte’ (the bridge) is the Italian term for taking extra days off to have a long break that connects a national holiday to the nearest weekend.

Last Thursday was the Liberation Day national holiday in Italy and Wednesday is May Day.

Opposition criticise Meloni’s speech

Democratic Party (PD) leader Elly Schlein blasted Meloni after the announcement, saying she has “lost touch with reality.

“She gave a one-hour speech without mentioning public health and the infinite waiting lists that are getting longer because of her cuts,” said the leader of the centre-left opposition group.

“She didn’t even mention low salaries, precarious labour contracts and workplace safety after 1,041 deaths in 2023”.

Ex-premier and 5-Star Movement (M5S) leader Giuseppe Conte described Meloni as “the opposite of king Midas” adding “let’s stop her”.

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