Meloni denies being a fascist and anchors Italy in the EU and NATO

Meloni denies being fascist and anchors Italy in the EU and the ;NATO

UPDATE DAY

ROME | New Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Tuesday firmly anchored Italy at the heart of the EU and NATO while rejecting any “proximity” to fascism, a month to the day after the historic victory of her extreme party. right Fratelli d'Italia in the elections and the concern it has caused. 

Italy is “fully part of Europe and the Western world”, he said. – she affirmed forcefully on Tuesday during her general policy speech to the deputies.

“I have never had any sympathy or closeness to anti-democratic regimes. For no regime, including fascism”, also insisted on underlining the one who was an admirer of Mussolini in her youth, even if in August she assured that the right had “relegated fascism to history”.

< p>The first female head of government in the history of Italy also promised that Italy would remain “a reliable NATO partner in support of Ukraine, which opposes Russian aggression”.

These statements are clearly aimed at reassuring Brussels and Rome's partners, as Ms Meloni has pro-Russian partners in her coalition, including League leader Matteo Salvini and Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi, a personal friend of Vladimir Putin.

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“Those who think that it is possible to exchange our tranquility for the freedom of Ukraine are mistaken”, she assured from the tribune of the hemicycle, standing in her black suit.< /p>

“Caving in to Putin's energy blackmail wouldn't solve the problem, it would make it worse, paving the way for further claims and blackmail and future energy (price) increases even bigger than we've seen in recent months,” she said.

As far as the European Union is concerned, she explained that the Italian approach was not to “hinder and sabotage European integration” but to make the community machine work better.

“Italy will respect the” European rules, also assured Ms. Meloni, even if Rome also wants “to help change those that do not work”. The EU is “a common house to face the challenges that member states can hardly face alone”, she added, judging that the EU has not done enough in this area in the past.

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“Who wonders” about the shortcomings of the EU “is not an enemy or a heretic but someone who wants to contribute to a more effective European integration to face the great challenges that await it” , said Ms. Meloni.

The speech of Ms. Meloni, who took office on Sunday, will be followed by a vote of confidence, Tuesday evening in the Chamber of Deputies then Wednesday in the Senate. She is sure to win since her coalition has an absolute majority in both chambers.

Tax cuts

While inflation is rage, she undertook as a “priority” to “strengthen support measures for households and businesses, both for energy bills and for fuel”.

“A financial commitment which will drain a large part of the available resources”, she acknowledged when the debt reached 150% of GDP, the highest ratio in the euro zone after Greece, and that Italy should enter into recession in 2023.

“The solution to reduce the debt is not blind austerity (…) but sustainable and structural economic growth”, argued the Prime Minister, whose speech was regularly interrupted by rounds of applause.

Inflation rose by 8.9% year on year in September and Italy has been particularly affected by the energy crisis due to its dependence on Russian gas imports.

At the same time, it wants to “ reduce the tax burden on companies and households”, while “the excessive weight of taxation is one of the main obstacles to job creation and the competitiveness of our companies on international markets”.

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Regarding the windfall of almost 200 billion euros in grants and loans granted by the European Union as part of its post-pandemic recovery fund, it has pledged to spend them “in the best possible way. negotiating with the European Commission the necessary adjustments (…) in the light above all of the rise in the prices of raw materials and the energy crisis”.

On illegal immigration, the mainstay of the extreme right, she affirmed her government's desire to “stop illegal departures (d Africa, editor’s note) and to put an end to human trafficking” in the Mediterranean.