Giorgia Meloni wins voting in Italy, in breakthrough for Europe’s hard right
Italy turned a page of European history on Sunday by electing a hard-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni, whose long record of bashing the European Union, international bankers and migrants has sown concern about the nation’s reliability in the Western alliance.
Results released early Monday showed that Ms. Meloni, the leader of the nationalist Brothers of Italy, a party descended from the remnants of fascism, had led a right-wing coalition to a majority in Parliament, defeating a fractured left and a resurgent anti-establishment movement.
It will still be weeks before the new Italian Parliament is seated and a new government is formed, leaving plenty of time for political machinations and horse trading in a coalition with major differences. But Ms. Meloni’s strong showing, with about 26 percent of the vote, the highest of any single party, makes her the prohibitive favorite to become the country’s first female prime minister. …
The victory, in an election with lower turnout than usual, comes as formerly taboo and marginalized parties with Nazi or fascist heritages are entering the mainstream — and winning elections — across Europe.
This month, a hard-right group founded by neo-Nazis and skinheads became the largest party in Sweden’s likely governing coalition. In France this year, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen — for a second consecutive time — reached the final round of presidential elections. In Spain, the hard-right Vox, a party closely aligned with Ms. Meloni, is surging.
But it is Italy, the birthplace of fascism and a founding member of the European Union, that has sent the strongest shock wave across the continent after a period of European-centric stability led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who directed hundreds of billions of euros in recovery funds to modernize Italy and helped lead Europe’s strong response to Russia.