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Giorgia Meloni’s Surprising Success

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has proved to be a creative politician who remains popular at home and is poised to wield more influence following the European Parliament elections in June. But the picture for Meloni is not all rosy, particularly as Italy's economic outlook darkens.

LONDON – After almost two years in power, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is more popular and influential than ever, not only in Italy but also across the European Union. For the leader of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) – a political party with roots in Italian fascism that, until recently, had relatively few members, no culture of governance, and a firmly anti-EU, anti-euro stance – this is a remarkable achievement.

Meloni leads a three-party coalition with the far-right Lega and the center-right Forza Italia. But the Brothers of Italy enjoy a solid majority. And that is not the only thing that distinguishes it from its coalition partners. Unlike the pro-Russia Matteo Salvini, who leads Lega, Meloni is vocally pro-NATO. This is a major reason why EU leaders – as well as markets – view her in an increasingly positive light.

Meloni is now poised to have lasting influence in European politics, where the Brothers are part of the center-right European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group – of which Meloni is president. Forza Italia, for its part, belongs to the European People’s Party (EPP), while Lega belongs to the Identity and Democracy Group, along with far-right parties like Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland and France’s National Rally.