Yes, OK, the Italian right isn’t quite as fluffy as our own. But still:
Meloni has been thrust into the limelight by FdI – a far-right party with roots in a pro-Mussolini party founded after the Second World War – topping opinion polls for the first time after effectively becoming the entirety of Italy’s opposition.
It is the only significant party not in Italian prime minister Mario Draghi’s emergency cross-spectrum administration. It has helped Meloni, 44, and the only female leader of a major Italina party, scoop up disaffected voters, particularly from the once-dominant and right-wing populist Lega.
Rome’s political destiny appears to be tied up with the fortunes of Draghi’s government, his economic plan and the right-wing populists that dominate the polls. And the end of president Sergio Mattarella’s term early next year could usher in early elections that bring about the right-wing coalition long feared by markets. After a period of unusual calm, is Italy heading for trouble once again?
Draghi has been tasked with reviving an economy that has not grown in real terms for 20 years and was hit hard by the pandemic.
A political establishment that hasn’t allowed – let alone produced – growth in two decades. Their overturning might well be welcomed by markets rather than feared.