Were We Wrong About Giorgia Meloni?
Whatever happened to Giorgia Meloni? When she won the Italian elections last autumn we made a big deal about it. She was the leader of the successor party to Benito Mussolini’s fascists after all.
But since her victory she’s been relatively quiet. No black shirts have marched the streets of Rome—let alone invaded Greece or Ethiopia. The Telegraph concluded last week that those who had warned about her had been proved wrong. Were we?
Meloni is already on a different path from the average fringe, extremist politician who achieves high office. They often crash and burn—either alienating their own voters by moving to the mainstream or alienating everybody else by staying true to their voters. A bigger problem is that many of these leaders have had no previous experience in government. They’re great at staging rallies and getting attention—but usually pretty rubbish at ruling.
Not Meloni. Polls indicate she has the support of 31 percent of voters, up from the 26 percent she won in the election. She’s winning regional elections and the Global Leader Approval Ratings ranked her as the most popular leader in Europe.
She’s not destroyed Italy’s relationship with the European Union, the way some feared she would. The €200 billion (us$217 billion) the EU is in the process of giving Italy may have something to do with that.
Yet she’s still dealing with the priorities of her voters. She stopped far-left city officials sneaking in homosexual adoption by the back door. And she’s reducing the number of migrants showing up by sea.
As a result, leaders from across Europe are making the pilgrimage to Rome, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola and leader of the European People’s Party Manfred Weber.
Her strong support at home means that she may be the key to the right taking control of the European Parliament at the next election.
“Giorgia Meloni is steadily becoming the most important political leader in Europe,” wrote the Spectator. “Some are even saying that it is her destiny to be the next Angela Merkel. If so, that would mean a dramatic change in direction for the European Union ….”
“Meloni is now leader of the European right,” said talk show host Massimo Cacciari. “And the traditional European coalition of social democratic forces and popular Catholic forces is losing water. … Meloni and those around her will be able to move the axis of European politics at the next elections. That’s the strategy they’re pursuing.”
But it’s her activities in the Mediterranean that could be the most revealing.
Meloni and other senior cabinet members, like the foreign, defense and interior ministers, have visited much of the region in a short time. Stops include Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the Balkans and Iraq.
“While most of Europe remains focused on Ukraine, Italy seems ready to take on more responsibility for safeguarding the Mediterranean,” wrote RealClearWorld.
They’ve been busy trying to replace Russian oil and gas with imports from North Africa and the Middle East. They’re also trying to shut down migration routes and help North African states round up migrant boats before they come near Italian waters.
It’s a response to Italy’s biggest challenges—but she’s also driven by a grander vision. During her January trip to Algeria, Meloni said Algeria could become “a leader” in energy production and that Italy “is the natural gateway to this energy and supplying Europe.” Throughout the trip, “Meloni emphasized a Mediterranean destiny that Italy has too often neglected, a theme which runs through her foreign-policy speeches,” wrote Le Monde.
In a speech this month she said that “Italy is working to be the bridge connecting the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and Europe.”
She’s also reached out to Turkey, saying that “Italy and Turkey are historically the two main players in the Mediterranean.” Competition with Turkey has stalled some key energy projects. Meloni wants to pivot toward Turkey to get things moving again.
She has unveiled the “Mattei Plan”—named after Enrico Mattei, the founder of Italy’s state energy company, Eni. The plan aims to see Eni forge ties with North African states and make Italy a natural gas hub.
Her focus on the Mediterranean brought her into competition with France. Before the election, she condemned France’s “vile” approach to Africa that sought to “exploit Africa … making children work in the mines, extracting raw materials as in Niger.”
She’s not made similar comments since coming into office. Maintaining a good relationship with her EU partner might not be the only reason. Meloni has been outspoken in her support of Ukraine—and she probably sees Russia as the bigger rival in North Africa. She may have to work with France if she wants to win out against Putin.
This competition with Putin has led to the Heritage Foundation to recommend that the United States support Italy’s new Mediterranean push.
“The EU has no common foreign policy looking south, and little capacity to do much more than throwing ineffective foreign aid in all directions,” it wrote. “Meanwhile, German leadership is moribund, and France’s has been demonstrably inept. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is ready to pick up the slack. The main objective of her foreign policy is to relaunch Italy’s role in nato and in the Mediterranean basin. She understands the strategic importance of the southern flank in countering China’s inroads and Russia’s persistent influence in North Africa and the Sahel region.”
It is early days yet, but Meloni is already moving Europe toward reviving the Holy Roman Empire. She is more patient and sophisticated than Benito Mussolini was. But she’s focused on reviving Rome’s Mediterranean empire, just as he was.
Mussolini saw himself as the reviver of an empire that traces back to Rome. The books of Daniel and Revelation describe this same empire. Revelation 17 states that once this empire is led by a woman, a type of a church, it will rise and fall seven times. In between, it disappears into “the bottomless pit.” It seems as though it is gone from the scene—only for it rise back once again.
After the war, Mussolini’s fascists went underground—as did many Nazis in Germany. Now his Fascist Party is coming back from the underground. Meloni may not look as obviously threatening, but as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote: “The rise of Meloni’s movement matches exactly what the Bible foretold. These prophecies warn that we need to be watching for the rise of this power.”
This new movement could soon be the dominant right-wing movement in all of Europe.
Mr. Flurry wrote, “Mussolini prepared the way for Adolf Hitler, who copied him and used the same formula.” We’re watching for the rise of a strongman in Germany. Could we see this movement in Italy play the same role, helping to pave the way for his rise?
To understand the role Meloni could play in Bible prophecy and why God would have events unfold this way, please read Mr. Flurry’s article “Fascism Reawakens in Italy.”