Giorgia Melonia is to become Italy's first far right leader since the last one ended up swinging by his feet from a gas station canopy in the Piazzale Loreto. Though her party won only 26% of the vote, it was by far the largest in the country's snap election and she forms a coalition with the parties of fellow far-right character Matteo Salvini and longtime prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The Italy beloved by the world for its food, art, history and culture is just not working for a large part of its own population. A perpetually stagnant economy has helped fuel a massive brain drain. The political gerontocracy of recycled ageing men in suits has prompted a massive desire for change. Enough Italians feel that Giorgia Meloni represents that – for better or worse. … And while she insists her party has consigned fascism to history, a country that never had the equivalent of Germany's denazification has allowed traces of its dark past to permeate through its post-war politics.
The bad news is clear. Meloni claims she is no longer a fascist, but remains as far right as ever on social policy, immigration, gay rights, abortion and other issues. The "good" news is that the longevity of Italian governments is usually measured in months.