At 2:30 am (local time) came the moment that militants of the right-wing “Brothers of Italy” party had been waiting for, when their leader Giorgia Meloni appeared at the luxury hotel in Rome that houses their electoral headquarters.
A roar rose as she began to speak, remembering the sacrifices made over the years as the party grew from a fringe far-right group to become Italy’s strongest political force in Sunday’s elections.
“For many of us, this is a night of pride, redemption, tears, hugs, dreams and memories,” Meloni told party members and reporters, standing in front of the controversial party flame logo.
She points out that the image represents the evolution of the Italian right, while critics say it is a vestige of the old “Italian Social Movement” (MSI), which used the same symbol.
“This is a starting point, not a finish line, starting tomorrow we have to prove our value”, highlighted the candidate, emotional.
The Brothers of Italy has its roots in the post-fascist MSI, considered a political pariah by the mainstream country until it was dissolved in the mid-1990s.
But that’s in the past. According to projections, Meloni won about 26% of the vote in Sunday’s election, up from the 2018 election, when he won 4%.
The centre-right bloc she leads is touted as winning a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament, paving the way for her to become Italy’s first female prime minister.
“It’s a dream,” Fabio Rampelli, the party’s founder, told Reuters as he hugged an emotional activist who whispered to him the only word “finally!”
Marco Marsilio, president of the Brothers of Italy in the central region of Abruzzo, noted that he had been waiting for this moment all his life. “20 or 30 years ago this seemed crazy, let’s hope God forgives us for this madness,” he told Reuters.
The Italian far-right has its historic strongholds in central and southern Italy, but some of its militants come from regions with a left-wing tradition.
For them, the victory is even more special.
Giovanni Donzelli was born in Florence on the left and joined the right in 1994, when he was 19 years old.
“The day after I joined the right-wing university movement… I went home to tell my family. My socialist grandfather and moderate left mother did not react well. My mother started crying, my grandfather choked on his food,” she recalls.
Source: CNN Brasil