Francesco Giubilei, The American Conservative, October 6, 2020
On May 31, the Italian right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia, led by Giorgia Meloni, for the first time reached 16 percent in the polls. This would have been an unimaginable result only a few years ago, and since then, Fratelli d’Italia has only continued to grow. The party recently reached 18 percent, surpassing the Five Star Movement and narrowing the distance between the Democratic Party and Lega led by Matteo Salvini.
The ascent of Fratelli d’Italia has been a slow one, only to sharply accelerate in recent months. That’s thanks to a unique figure in the Italian panorama: Giorgia Meloni.
As the only female leader on the Italian political scene, Meloni became an international star after a speech in Rome in which she stated: “I am Giorgia, I am a mother, I am Italian, I am Christian.” That was a good summary of the values of the Italian right wing: family, homeland, and Christianity.
She was later elected president of the ECR, the group of European conservatives, a move that represents the culmination of a path begun before last year’s European elections that saw her become one of the main political conservatives in Europe.
In Italy, her party now governs important cities in two regions, Abruzzo and Marche. She has managed to reconstruct the Italian right that had fragmented after the end of the Alleanza Nazionale party while at the same time bringing together numerous people from the Catholic and classical liberal worlds as well as Berlusconi’s party Forza Italia, which is nowadays in crisis.
Giorgia Meloni’s participation in two important events in the United States, CPAC and the National Prayer Breakfast, aroused the interest of the international press. She later gave a speech at the national conservatism conference in Rome last February.
In her address, Meloni affirmed that “the great challenge of our time is the defense of national identities and the very existence of states as the only means of protecting the sovereignty and freedom of peoples.” In this sense, the enemy was the “globalist drift of those who consider identity, in all its forms, an evil to be fought and constantly act to shift real power from the people to supranational entities.”
Expectations for Giorgia Meloni are high, to the point that the British newspaper The Times at the end of 2019 included her on its list of “twenty people who can change the world in 2020,” together with prominent international figures such as Jimmy Sham, one of the leaders of the Hong Kong protest movement, and Princess Leonor of Spain.