Italy: no competition for Giorgia Meloni?
A victory for Giorgia Meloni's Fratelli d'Italia party - widely regarded as post-fascist - in Italy's parliamentary elections on 25 September seems increasingly likely. The party has a lead of around 25 percent in all the polls. The second-placed social democratic Partito Democratico under top candidate Enrico Letta follows with 20 to 22 percent. But unlike Meloni's party it doesn't have a strong electoral alliance behind it.
Hard to convey the potential danger
The rise of Giorgia Meloni is probably inevitable, fears La Repubblica:
“Meloni might even try to break away from the paracriminal fringe groups of her followers. But the fact remains that this very milieu shaped her mindset in her youth. ... The fear that she might neglect or even violate the common values of republican coexistence once in the government palace is therefore not unjustified. But unfortunately this is hard to convey. ... It's easy to invoke God, the fatherland and family at rallies and to win votes by promising tax reductions for everyone, more security and fewer immigrants. By contrast, warnings about the threat to the values of republican coexistence meet with indifference.”
Divided and wishy-washy rivals
Italy clearly lacks attractive moderate alternatives, La Vanguardia notes:
“While in Spain or Germany the traditional right can continue to act as a dam against the far right, Italy has run out of moderate points of reference in the conservative camp. Only the left had the potential to stop the poisonous trident formed by Meloni, Salvini and Berlusconi. The problem is that it is still immersed in a phase of division and self-destruction. Meanwhile, the Italian progressives [Partito Democratico, PD] are hiding behind the figure of a banker like Mario Draghi. ... Resorting to technocracy may have been a wise step at a critical moment, but clinging to it could be the PD's doom, preventing it from forming coalitions with like-minded parties.”
Soul-searching in opposition for centre and left parties
Krytyka Polityczna sees little chance of a last-minute political turnaround:
“There is no shortage of political alternatives in Italy - voters can choose from a wide variety of parties ranging from pro-European centrist mainstream variants to an alliance of Stalinists and nationalists. Yet most are likely to opt for the triumvirate of Meloni, Salvini and Berlusconi, which spells disaster for Italy and Europe. The right-wing populists have been better at capitalising on anti-system sentiment and discontent over the maladies of Italian politics. Both the left and the centre must learn from this trend. But there is little time left before the election, meaning that they will have to do their soul-searching on the opposition benches.”