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Italy’s Meloni solidifies power in European Parliament

The prime minister’s party has strengthened its position following the EU elections

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing Brothers of Italy party won the vote in Italy for the EU Parliament on Sunday, as other right-wing parties made gains at the expense of ruling coalitions in both France and Germany.

Meloni’s party won a decisive victory with a projected 28% of the vote, according to forecasts by state broadcaster RAI with almost 70% of the ballots counted.

Other members of her center-right coalition fared worse. Matteo Salvini’s right-wing League party received 8.5%, despite coming in first in the 2019 EU election with 34%. Its once junior coalition member, the Silvio Berlusconi-founded Forza Italia, beat it with a projected 9%.

The center-left opposition Democratic Party is expected to finish with 24.5%, and the Five Star Movement with 10.5%.

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Von der Leyen vows to continue along ‘pro-Ukraine’ path

“I’m proud that we are heading to the G7 and to Europe with the strongest government of all,” Meloni said at her party’s headquarters on Monday.

The Meloni-led European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) is projected to win around a tenth of the 720 seats in this year’s EU Parliament.

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Macron calls snap parliamentary election

The right-wing prime minister came out of the EU elections with a stronger backing than German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Scholz’s party slipped to third place in the polls on Sunday, behind the conservative CDU/CSU and right-wing AfD. Macron’s Renaissance party gained around 15% of the vote, compared to 31% for the right-wing National Rally, prompting the French leader to dissolve parliament and call for a snap election.

Despite springboarding to power on a wave of anti-immigration sentiment, Meloni has shifted to support the current EU policies on asylum seekers in her nearly two years in power. She has been a staunch supporter of Kiev in the conflict with Moscow, but has balked at NATO’s recent support for allowing Ukraine to conduct long-range strikes into Russia.

 

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