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Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni wins vote in Italy, what does it mean for Europe

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Far-right leader of Italy, Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in the election held in Italy, on Sunday. She will not only be the first female prime minister of Italy but will also form the nation’s most right-wing government, since the Second World War. This is alarming for Europe as her country is the third largest economy in the European Union. However, she said that her party, the Brothers of Italy, would “govern for everyone.”

The far-right alliance consists of her party Brothers of Italy, Matteo Salvini’s far-right League as well as center-right Forza Italia, the party of former PM Silvio Berlusconi. The alliance will control both the Senate as well as the Chamber of Deputies, with roughly 44 percent of the vote.

The far-right alliance was able to win the election as they put a unified candidate in each constituency, despite the League getting less than 9 percent of the vote while the other partner Forza Italia polled lower. However, their opponents in both the left and the center did not agree to partner and stood separately, losing votes.

Her closest partner, opposition leader Enrico Letta, who is center-left, told journalists, on Monday that the victory of the far-right in his country was a “sad day for Italy and Europe.” He added that his party would be a “strong and intransigent opposition.”

Although Giorgia Meloni has worked hard, especially in the last four years, to present a softer image, by offering support for Ukraine as well as decreasing rhetoric against the EU, her party is rooted in a post-war movement that came into being with fascists who rooted for dictator Benito Mussolini.

Although she is a woman, she is against women’s rights on abortion and has often said that her policies also include a “yes to the natural family, no to LGBT lobby.” She has also said no to many other issues she terms as “mass migration” or “big international finance” as well as “bureaucrats of Brussels” in a speech, earlier this year.

Voter turnout was low in Italy at 63.91 percent. This was a record low and was nine points below the turnout in the 2018 Italian elections. The Southern regions saw lower voting levels.

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