With the election of Giorgia Meloni as new Italy’s prime minister, there are questions about whether to expect major shakeups in Italian domestic and foreign policy.

Ukrainians are concerned about Meloni’s willingness to keep supporting Ukraine the way the government of her predecessor Mario Draghi did.

World markets wonder if investments will be equally possible with Meloni at the helm. The “leftist” opposition has questioned whether its own very existence still has some sort of meaning and consistency. Women, migrants, disabled people, and all sorts minorities have questioned whether their needs and rights will continue to be safeguarded.

Why all the anxiety? Because Giorgia Meloni is perceived as a fascist.

I write “perceived” because for a couple of days now I’ve been hearing the word “reassure” in various declensions. Meloni has clearly stated that she “never had any sympathy for any authoritarian regime, whatsoever, not even Italian fascism” – thus, beginning the “reassurance” campaign in Italian public discourse.


Meloni has said she doesn’t like fascism. She claims she is an underdog – a right-wing underdog. And every single Italian girl knows how hard it is to make it in Italy if you’re not born into an overly wealthy or powerful family, and how hard it is to get your opinion across, especially if it isn’t just the mere repetition of some senseless mainstream ideas.

I can’t imagine how hard it could be to be a young fasc… right-wing girl in the already male-dominated ecosystem of Italian politics.

But Meloni was right during her Senate speech, when – responding to center-left Deborah Serracchiani’s criticism about how with the right wing in power women will lag behind men – she pointed out that, well, “a step behind” her, were her male allies, Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi.

Now the Italians have clearly expressed how much they’re fed up with the left – be it those who barely resemble anything left-wing, or the stalwart ex-communists who turn to Putin because he’s the closest thing to their beloved Stalin. They’re fed up with the impoverishment the Italian middle-class, with crime- and drug-ridden streets, with pandemic-related restrictions of civil liberties. Italians are fed up with all those smiley “good guys” from the “decent side of politics,” whom they blame for their suffering.


Enter Giorgia Meloni.

Meloni may not be a fascist – if we take her at her word – but she certainly is angry. She is angrier than Salvini, who already wrecked his reputation as a hardliner with all those slimy man-of-the-people selfies and his transformation into a yes-man as soon as he got into a government coalition.

Meloni, however, claims: “I’m not blackmailable.” And indeed, she isn’t – at least not to those who prefer to forget the money-laundering scandal that emerged around her party a couple of years ago. So far be it from me to remind an audience unwilling to listen.

She is not blackmailable, because so far she was just a “right-wing” underdog – if we exclude holding a ministry back in the 2008 Berlusconi government; being the president of her party, Fratelli d’Italia, since 2014; and having some other seats here and there in the Italian and European politics.


But she has made herself look reliable and transparent to angry Italians with short memories in recent years. She staked out a position in steadfast opposition to Draghi’s technocratic government, while acquiescing to that government’s choices “out of responsibility.”

So, Giorgia, even if you claim not to be, we Italians want you to be fascist! We voted for you as a fascist! And you know it. We voted for you because you’re an underdog. We voted for you because you’re angry! Be our Mussolina!

Italians have vintage tastes. We still love Stalin, we still miss Benito. Yes, because we hoped for the free world’s amenities of progress, democracy, and civil liberties; but all we got is an order from the European Union that prevents us from producing casu marzu (a delicious traditional Sardinian cheese enriched with its own worms) because it does not conform to “hygienic standards.” Hey, but at least we’re the only country that has a bidet (the indispensable device devoted to cleaning Italians’ family jewels after their noble labors). So how can anyone say we’re dirty? And now we have a Ministry of “food sovereignty” – take that, Frenchies!


Give the new government a chance, they say. We have to judge them by their deeds.

The Meloni government has reassured Ukraine that it will keep supporting Kyiv (notwithstanding her allies’ well-known connections to Putin).

Meloni reassures us: “I’m not a fascist.” She reassures Italy’s “cash only” businessmen by increasing the cash deposit cap from 3,000 to 10,000 euros. She reassures the Ministry of Interior by warning NGO vessels laden with migrants not to cross any lines. She reassures the unborn by starting work on modifying the 1978 law on abortion, conquered by Italian women after unspeakable struggles, during the years in which the “honor killing” was still legal.

So, what does it all mean? It means that Meloni was elected because of the frustrations of the Italian masses, who saw no help from actual policies, no strategy, nothing beyond occasional almsgiving that doesn’t tackle the structural problems.

Italians see in Meloni a political style, something they can relate to, something still uncompromised, that will defend the Italian national interest – whatever Italians think that is.

And yet, no matter how cool Meloni can be, she is not cool enough to be the lone-wolf who defeats a structured, stratified, powerful, international system that keeps Italy stuck in a web of senseless random politics, with the complicity of an inadequate and corrupted political class, ready to serve any master. Italians will not be able to understand that what they’re about to encounter is miles away from that vague idea of social-fascism they still cherish with nostalgia (“when the trains were on time,” as we say in Italy): that is, the necessity to stay in power by promoting hyper-liberal economic policy – to “reassure” the “markets” – which will be balanced by hyper-conservative and anti-migrant policies, so as to feed the electorate with something really fascist – as required.


And, a step behind her, watching her back – probably in all senses! – go her faithful allies, Putin’s BFF Silvio Berlusconi, and the belching racist Matteo Salvini, the useless idiot.

Very reassuring.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.


To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter