The Brothers of Italy leader denies she is a fascist but clings to the Mussolini-era slogan ‘God, homeland, family’
Giorgia Meloni presents a danger to the democratic balance in Europe. Her leadership looks to be the antithesis of what Italy needs – and not just at this difficult moment.
The danger arises for Europe because Italy has always been a laboratory: it has foreshadowed the crises of other countries. Italy had Mussolini before Hitler and the leftwing extremist Red Brigades before Action Directe appeared in France and the Red Army Faction followed suit in Germany. Italy had Berlusconi before the US got Trump. And after years of Berlusconi misrule, Italy produced the Five Star Movement, the first populist party led by a comedian, before the rest of Europe caught up. Five Star’s agenda was political disruption, often without any thought to the consequences.