Javier Romualdo |
Rome (EFE).- Determined support for Ukraine, the approval of the European Union (EU) and the control of its government partners. The milestones with which Giorgia Meloni celebrates her first 100 days at the helm of Italy paint the image of a pragmatic Executive and less extremist than what his allies and rivals expected.
The first woman to govern Italy, since taking office on October 22, assumed a moderate tone to calm the most ominous voices, who saw the coming to power of the ultra-right in the third European power as a blow to the stability of Western democracies.
Behind this image of good sense looms the shadow of the EU, pending each movement of the country, the maximum recipient of its recovery funds: 191,500 million euros in exchange for demanding conditions.
“By going from opposition to prime minister, Meloni has become aware of the need to go beyond slogans,” Giuliano Noci, a professor of Strategy at the Milan Polytechnic School of Business, told EFE.
European money has forced Meloni to abandon his most populist proposals and follow the strategy designed by his predecessor, Mario Draghi, despite the fact that his party, the ultras Brothers of Italy (FdI), was the only one that did not support his appointment in 2021.
This “Draghi line”, as the political scientist from the University of Pisa Alberto Vannucci describes it, has directed its first budgets and its position on the war in Ukraine, with the sixth shipment of weapons already approved.
Not even his NATO partners knew what to expect when Meloni came to power in coalition with Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the conservative Forza Italia who is considered close to Vladimir Putin, and Matteo Salvini, the Russian president’s admirer who heads the sovereign League.
Salvini and Berlusconi, without influence
“Berlusconi continues to think that he is a friend of Putin and Salvini maintains relations with Russia, but she has decided to contradict them,” details the emeritus professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna Gianfranco Pasquin.
Experts agree that Giorgia Meloni has managed to keep two big egos at bay: Berlusconi stated this week on one of his television channels that the coalition has started on the “right foot”, accepting second place.
This is also reflected in the latest survey, by Supermedia-Youtrend-AGI, which gives FdI a voting preference of 29.7% (in the elections it received 26%), while the League drops to 8.5% ( 8.7%) and Forza Italia sank to 6.8% (8.11%).
With an excellent management of communication, Meloni has been quick to take two pictures: with the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, on her first visit abroad, and with the team that arrested the last godfather of Cosa Nostra. , although she had little to do with that feat.
Bet on Africa: migration and energy
“The budgets, the position on Ukraine and the decision to go to Algeria and Libya for gas supplies” are, according to Pasquin, Meloni’s three great successes.
Noci agrees on the last point: “The awareness of the centrality of Italy in the Mediterranean and the role that Africa can play even in energy is a relevant merit.”
But the interests in Africa go further. If Salvini’s influence in the coalition can be seen in any way, it is in migration management, with the approval of a decree that makes it difficult to rescue NGO boats.
Italy’s refusal to allow a ship to dock on its coasts last November generated a diplomatic conflict with France and Meloni took the opportunity to ask Europe for a new common migration policy.
Populist proposals, their weakness
Although pragmatism has dominated economic affairs and foreign policy, Meloni has shown more improvisation when he has tried to fulfill his most populist promises, such as the disappearance of citizenship income (subsidy), since his first budgets only hinder access to those who turn down a job.
He also assured, in a video that went viral again at the beginning of this year, that he would end excise taxes on gasoline, a measure completely ruled out in his negotiations to lower the price of fuel.
And his famous “rave decree”, which seemed to put an end to macro parties in Italy, ended up being approved with so many cuts that the final text had little to do with the first proposal.
“If we judge the success of a government based on how many electoral promises they keep, it is evident that now they would not have it, whether they were correct or not,” concludes Vannucci.