Sad Day for Freedom

26 September 2022


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Italy Elects Fascist Wannabes


The Italian people went to the polls yesterday and elected a right-wing coalition of parties led by the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d\' Italia). This is not a good development for Italy nor for Europe. The Brothers of Italy has its roots in the Italian Social Movement, founded by members of the National Fascist Party and the Republican Fascist Party, banned after World War II. The leader of the party, Giogia Meloni, was quite the fascist firebrand in her youth, and despite her claims to have moderated her views over the years, one is confident that her reflexes remain anti-democratic and illiberal. With a majority in both chambers of the Italian legislature, she might be able to run Italy much as Mr. Orban runs Hungary. That presumes she is as clever as he, and there is no reason to doubt it.

What exactly can the world expect now? Ms. Meloni, when addressing the far-right Vox party in Spain, she said, "Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology . . . no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration . . . no to big international finance . . . no to the bureaucrats of Brussels!"

The Brothers allied with League of the North led by Matteo Salvini and the Forza Italia, the electoral vehicle of Silvio Berlusconi (which is how one pronounces Donald Trump in Italian). While the Brothers earned 26% of the vote, the bloc in total took 44%. The League won only 9% of the vote and the League even less. This makes the Brothers the senior partner in the alliance, and it makes Ms. Meloni the next PM. Turn out was down 9% from the last election, with just 63. 91% of registered voters marking a ballot.

The BBC reports, "The make-up of the Chamber and Senate is not yet clear but a YouTrend projection said the right-wing alliance would hold as many as 238 of the 400 seats in the lower house and 112 of the 200 seats in the upper house.

"As for the centre left, they are projected to have 78 seats in the Chamber and 40 in the Senate."

This means that the right will be able to jam through just about anything they want. Two things will prevent her from simply doing as she pleases. First, the European Union has a lot of influence over Italian economics because Italy is the second-most indebted member after Greece. The Brussels bureaucrats against whom she campaigned gave Italy 200 billion euro for Covid recovery expenses. She wants to revisit the reforms to which Italy agreed arguing that the energy problems in Europe have altered the economic landscape. That money buys a lot of leverage.

Ettore Greco, executive vice president of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, told CNBC, "For many years she campaigned on a platform that was very critical of the EU, even arguing for Italy’s exit on the euro from time to time, but now she has changed her position reflecting in a sense this strong widespread support for Italy in the EU.

"The problem she may have is that she\'ll have to find a way of establishing a working, effective relationship with the EU on many difficult fields, like economic policy, because her coalition and her party have always been in favor of different rules, particularly budgetary rules and this may cause friction, especially if the economic situation worsens."

Also, she does not see eye-to-eye with the leaders of the other coalition members when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Mr. Berlusconi is pro-Putin while Mr. Salvini is unsure the sanctions against Russia are the right thing to do. If there is a split here, the government could fall quite quickly.

Until then, one expects greater economic difficulties for Italy as a whole and fewer civil liberties for people who differ from what Ms. Meloni thinks is a good Italian. This is a sad day for freedom.

© Copyright 2022 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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