A darling of the global conservative movement, Meloni was a favorite protégé of Republican strategist Steve Bannon, who featured prominently at party conferences in Italy before the Covid-19 pandemic and his own legal troubles.
Recently, Bannon showed his support once again, saying in a statement to CNN: “Meloni, like Thatcher, will fight and win.”
Meloni has spoken at several US CPAC conventions, telling the group in 2022 that conservatives are under attack.
“We [conservadores] we are proud of our identity, of what we stand for. We live in a time when everything we believe in is under attack: our individual freedom, our rights, the sovereignty of our nations, the prosperity and well-being of our families, the education of our children. Faced with this, people understand that, in this age, the only way to show resistance is to preserve who we are, the only way to resist is to be conservative,” he said.
She was raised by a single mother in the energetic left-wing neighborhood of Garbatella, far from the tourist attractions in the center of the capital. A group of elderly people sitting on benches in the district’s central square shook their heads at the sound of Meloni’s name.
“She doesn’t represent me,” Marizio Tagliani, a coffee shop owner, told CNN. “She doesn’t represent this neighborhood.”
Meloni, however, represents a growing number of conservative Italians who agree with his traditional family ideals that align with the powerful Catholic Church. She is a single mother and openly anti-LGBT, and threatens that same-sex unions, which were legalized in Italy in 2016, could be reviewed.
The ultranationalist also called abortion a “tragedy,” and the regions of Italy where her party governs already experience abortion restrictions and a lack of services, such as non-adherence to a national policy that allows clinics to provide the abortion pill. , and only allowing abortions for up to seven weeks, including a mandatory one-week waiting period for women to “think through” their decision – while national guidelines stipulate 9 weeks.
His partners in Italy’s center-right political alliance, Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi, are also partly responsible for his popularity. Berlusconi appointed her to the Ministry of Sport during his government in 2008, making her the youngest ever minister to hold that position.
Meloni regularly gets into arguments with Salvini, whose popularity has steadily declined. In the 2018 elections, she was his minority partner in the center-right alliance.
But this time, she is in charge and has suggested that if elected, she might not give Salvini a ministerial portfolio, which would deprive him of the power to potentially topple his government.
She differs from Salvini and Berlusconi on a number of issues, including Ukraine, and has no connection to Russian President Vladimir Putin, unlike her electoral partners, who have said they would like to review sanctions against Russia because of their impact on Italian economy.
Instead, Meloni has been steadfast in his support for Ukraine’s defense.
The prospect of a female leader in a traditionally male-dominated country makes some people question whether she will be judged under a different set of rules than her male counterparts.
“We have never had a prime minister. I think we’re definitely ready for that. It’s past time, I would say,” Dario Fabbri, political analyst and editor of Domino magazine, told CNN. “But I don’t know how society as a whole will receive it. This is something unknown, both to her and to us.”
Emiliana De Blasio, a diversity and inclusion consultant at LUISS University in Rome, explained to CNN that Meloni’s politics is more important than her gender, but that she has not proven to be a feminist in the first place.
“We need to reflect on the fact that Giorgia Meloni is not raising all the questions about women’s rights and empowerment in general,” she commented.
Fabbri acknowledges that it may be easier for Meloni to find acceptance on the global stage than in Italy, where just 49% of women work outside the home, according to a World Economic Forum gender survey.
“It will depend on how she acts, how she presents herself to world leaders. I think she walks a very fine line when it comes to her image, her past positions on a number of issues, but so far she hasn’t made too many gaffes in this election campaign,” Fabbri told CNN.
“But obviously, being at the head of a government is something very different. So I think the way she will be received will not have much to do with the prejudices towards Italy, but with the way she will present herself to world leaders.”
Source: CNN Brasil
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