LThe new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her ministers, who have formed the most right-wing and Eurosceptic government in Italy since 1946, were sworn in on Saturday morning, October 22, at the presidential palace of the Quirinale in Rome. The ceremony under the gold of this building overlooking Rome, the residence of the Popes and the Kings of Italy before becoming the seat of the Presidency of the Republic, took place in the presence of the Head of State, President Sergio Mattarella.
Giorgia Meloni, dressed in a very sober black dress, was the first to take the oath, followed by her two deputy premieres of the two party members of her coalition, Matteo Salvini, leader of the Anti-immigrant League, and Antonio Tajani, a leading exponent of the party Forza Italia by Silvio Berlusconi. All followed in front of Sergio Mattarella to pronounce the traditional oath standing up: «I swear to be faithful to the Republic, to loyally respect the Constitution and the laws, and to exercise my functions in the exclusive interest of the Nation. . “
Congratulations from Hungary and Germany, silence in Paris and Madrid
The European Union, initially very cautious about the rise to power of the far right in Italy, said it was ready to “collaborate” with the Eurosceptic government of Giorgia Meloni. “Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Prime Minister, the first woman to hold this office”, tweeted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “I am counting on constructive cooperation with the new government, in the face of the challenges we face together. “
“We work together for the good of Italy and the EU”, wrote the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. “Europe needs Italy. Together we will overcome all difficulties “, added the president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, in a tweet written in Italian.
These reactions in chorus of the three main European institutions contrasted with the silence of the major capitals Berlin, Paris and Madrid. The very conservative Hungarian premier Viktor Orban, a Brussels nuisance, was one of the few European leaders to congratulate Giorgia Meloni, greeting “a great day for the European right”. The far right in Europe was also celebrating: “All over Europe, patriots are coming to power and, with them, this Europe of the nations we are asking for,” Marine Le Pen cheered.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz nevertheless congratulated Giorgia Meloni late on Saturday evening. “I am pleased that we continue to work closely with Italy, in the EU, NATO and the G7”, said on Twitter the German leader, who also thanked Mario Draghi for “the good German-Italian cooperation” in recent years.
A government to reassure Brussels and NATO
The list of ministers chosen by Giorgia Meloni, who with her post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party obtained a historic victory in the legislative elections on 25 September with 26% of the votes, reflects her desire to reassure the members of Rome, worried about the arrival in power in Italy of a far-right head of government. The appointment to foreign affairs, with the title of vice-premier, of the former president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani was immediately greeted on Friday evening by the president of the European People’s Party, the German Manfred Weber, as a “guarantee of a pro-European and Atlanticist Italy. “.
READ ALSORight without being revolutionary: Giorgia Meloni’s government under the magnifying glass
Another commitment given to Brussels was Giancarlo Giorgetti, representative of the moderate wing of the League, former minister in the outgoing government of Mario Draghi, who inherits the crucial portfolio of the Economy. The populist Matteo Salvini has to settle for the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio while he yearned for the more prestigious one of the Interior, which belongs to a technocrat. Of the 24 ministers, only 6 are women, confined to smaller wallets.
After the oath, Giorgia Meloni and her ministers were received by the President for a short toast. Also present were the relatives of the Prime Minister, including his 41-year-old companion, the journalist Andrea Giambruno, and their 6-year-old daughter, Ginevra. The Prime Minister then left the Quirinal Palace without making any statements.
READ ALSOItaly: how Giorgia Meloni distances herself from Matteo Salvini
The transfer of power between Mario Draghi and Giorgia Meloni will take place on Sunday at 10:30 French time at Palazzo Chigi, the seat of the government near the Parliament, and will be followed by the first Council of Ministers. This essentially ceremonial stage will be characterized by the symbolic delivery by Mario Draghi to his successor of the bell used by the Prime Minister to regulate the debates in the Council of Ministers.