Italy's new PD leader: a challenger for Meloni?

Elly Schlein has become the first woman to be elected to lead Italy's Partito Democratico. All the party's supporters were invited to take part in the vote on Sunday, regardless of whether or not they are members. Europe's media sees Schlein's election as cause for celebration.

Open/close all quotes
La Repubblica (IT) /

A farewell to medieval ideas

Five months after Giorgia Meloni took office, the taboo against female leadership has also been broken in the largest party on the left, La Repubblica rejoices:

“This means that our country - albeit with a long delay - has joined those democracies where gender differences no longer hinder participation in public life. The upshot is that, on the right as on the left, we will have more human resources and diversity at our disposal in the competition to lead the country. This is undoubtedly a positive turn in the history of the Republic, because having more women in leading positions in politics means saying goodbye to a medieval notion of government.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Now she needs to be pragmatic

Schlein must prove that she can build bridges with other parties, The Guardian comments:

“The PD's new leader has been given a mandate to be radical, but if Ms Schlein is to succeed she will also need to be pragmatic enough to construct a winning coalition. Chronic division - between the PD and the Five Star Movement, but also with the smaller centrist parties - has been the gift which keeps on giving to Ms Meloni. ... [Schlein's] charisma, clarity and energy promise a new start. But building broad alliances will be just as crucial in the battle to defeat Ms Meloni.”

Mediapart (FR) /

New hope for Italy's left

Elly Schlein faces a difficult task with many pitfalls, stresses journalist and director Hugues Le Paige in a commentary piece in Mediapart:

“The launch of a genuine internal debate to clarify the political line, the composition of the party leadership, the question of alliances, and the development of a tough and credible opposition to the far-right government. ... But it must be said: a glimmer of hope now shines in the night of the Italian left. The first in many years. For the glow to spark enchantment, several victorious battles will be needed. Elly Schlein has the qualities to lead them and to avoid the traps that 'friends' and enemies will set for her from now on.”