No return to fascism in Italy with Meloni

Professor Orsina, alarmist press reports say that in Italy there is a threat of a hundred years later Benito Mussolini “March on Rome” the return of fascism. Is Italy’s democracy in danger?

Matthias Rub

Political correspondent for Italy, the Vatican, Albania and Malta based in Rome.

Not at all. The idea of ​​fascism coming back is just ridiculous. No political force of any relevance wants to establish a fascist or fascistoid regime in Italy. And even if someone did come up with this terrible idea, the control mechanisms of Italian democracy would be strong enough to block such an attempt.

In the 2018 elections were Giorgia Meloni and her “Fratelli d’Italia” only got four percent. What role does “nuovismo” play in Italian politics, the electoral impulse to put their trust in a “new face”?

The “Nuovismo” plays a very important role. Italian parties and the Italian political system are very weak and the electorate is very volatile. The voters are deeply dissatisfied with the existing situation, they like to try new solutions. And they then immediately discard them before they have been properly tested. Meloni is benefiting from the crisis of the left-wing populist Five Star Movement and the right-wing national Lega Matteo Salvini. Meloni and the Fratelli present themselves as fresh strength.

The Fratelli have also been the only party to have been in opposition continuously since 2018. Where are all the new voters for the party coming from?

Most likely from the Lega, which in turn attracted many voters from the Five Stars between 2018 and 2019.

Can the Fratelli, Lega and Forza Italia lead the right-wing alliance ahead of the left-wing parties in the polls?

the Five Star Movement is catching up a lot in southern Italy. The victory of the right-wing alliance could turn out to be narrower than expected or even not happen at all. On the other hand, no other party and no other alliance can win a majority. If the right-wing alliance does not get a majority, there will be a stalemate in parliament. Still, I think it’s very likely that the right will win.

May 2022: The political scientist Giovanni Orsina (left) with Giorgia Meloni and Enrico Letta at the presentation of his book.

May 2022: The political scientist Giovanni Orsina (left) with Giorgia Meloni and Enrico Letta at the presentation of his book.

Image: Picture Alliance

If that’s the case, who will be president? Sergio Mattarella react? Will he put Meloni in charge of forming a government?

If the legal alliance has a large majority in both chambers and sends a clear signal that Meloni should be the new prime minister, Mattarella is practically forced to nominate her. Although the head of government in Italy is appointed by the President of the Republic, the President cannot act as he pleases: he must appoint someone with a parliamentary majority. If this majority makes it clear that there is only one possible candidate, the President must follow this lead.

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