European elections: Giorgia Meloni gets personal with Italy’s vote

Image source, Reuters/Yara Nardi

Comment on the photo, Giorgia Meloni has enjoyed flat ratings since becoming Prime Minister in 2022

  • author, Laura Josey
  • Role, BBC News, Rome

Italians began voting on the third day of the four days of the European elections held in 27 European Union countries.

Although the vote is intended for the next European Parliament, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni hopes that the result will tighten her grip on Italian politics. She even urged voters to “just write Georgia” on their ballots.

Most European Union countries vote on Sunday, after a tumultuous few weeks in which two European leaders and several other politicians were physically attacked.

Her office says she suffered a minor injury, and one suspect has been taken into custody.

Leaders across Europe were united in shock over the latest attack, in the middle of an election involving 373 million potential European voters.

Last month, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico survived an assassination attempt and was only recently allowed to leave hospital. Many German political figures were also targeted.

These elections are not supposed to have an impact on national politics, but the reality is very different, especially in Italy.

Giorgia Meloni has enjoyed steady poll numbers since she became prime minister in 2022, buoyed by a fragmented centrist and left-wing opposition and the gradual decline of her junior coalition partner, Matteo Salvini’s once-powerful populist League, whose voters are being lured by divestment. Direct foreigner.

In an attempt to reverse this trend, Salvini pushed his party’s rhetoric to the right.

The League’s election posters – denouncing all manner of EU-backed initiatives, from electric cars to plastic bottle caps – attracted some ridicule, but also a great deal of attention.

Image source, Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Matteo Salvini’s speech matched his main candidate, General Roberto Fanacci.

Salvini’s main candidate, Roberto Fanacci, had the same effect. The army general was fired after he published a book in which he expressed homophobic and racist views. Since becoming the League’s candidate, he has redoubled his efforts towards them.

Hardly a day goes by without the media amplifying Roberto Vanacci’s messages. That could translate into votes for the League, but if not, there could be trouble ahead for Salvini, whose leadership is beginning to be called into question.

The same scrutiny will be applied to the results of the left-wing Democratic Party, whose leader Ellie Schlein hopes to obtain 19% of the votes she won in the 2019 elections if she wants to remain in office.

Italians will be able to cast their votes until late Sunday evening when elections have already ended elsewhere in Europe.

The Netherlands cast its votes on Thursday, and an opinion poll conducted by polling stations in the Netherlands showed a close race between the Green Left Alliance, which is narrowly ahead of the populist, anti-Islam Freedom Party, Geert Wilders. The estimated turnout of 47% was the highest since 1989, refuting any suggestion that voters are tired of politics.

Irish and Czech voters went to the polls on Friday.

Slovakia, Latvia and Malta will also vote on Saturday, while the Czechs will vote on the second day.

Several Czech parties from different political groups in the European Parliament have formed a joint candidate list as a “protective cordon” to confront populists from former Prime Minister Andrej Babis’ ANO party.

Germany is among the European Union countries that will vote on Sunday, and the latest opinion polls indicate that the center-right Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union may outperform the Social Democratic Party led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

His party is competing for second place with coalition partners the Green Party and the far-right opposition party Alternative for Germany. The AfD has been embroiled in a series of recent scandals over foreign interference, espionage and accusations of Nazism.

Comment on the photo, Outgoing European Union Parliament

Both parties lag behind Marine Le Pen’s National Rally, which consistently receives approval ratings above 30%.

Macron called for a large turnout in a television interview on the penultimate day of the campaign, warning that “Europe has never been so threatened” by the rise of the right.

Other leaders adopted a similar urgent tone ahead of the Brexit vote.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who has been a staunch opponent of EU support for Ukraine – warned that Europe had reached a tipping point in terms of preventing the conflict from spreading beyond Ukraine’s borders, and criticized what he called “EU policy.” War psychosis.”

Polls in Italy are scheduled to close at 23:00 (21:00 GMT) on Sunday.

A forecast will be issued shortly after, combining the first interim results from some EU member states with estimates for the rest.

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