Italy election set to crown Meloni head of most right-wing govt since WW2

Italy’s parliamentary election on Sunday could make history, giving the country its first female prime minister at the head of its most right-wing government since World War Two.

Giorgia Meloni’s nationalist Brothers of Italy (FdI) barely scraped 4% of the vote in 2018, but the party is expected to take around 25% this time around and propel an alliance of conservative partners to a clear parliamentary majority.

“There is this idea in Italy that we have tried everyone else, so let’s try her now,” said Wolfango Piccoli, the co-president of political risk consultancy Teneo.

If the tough-talking Meloni succeeds, she will face an array of daunting challenges, including soaring energy costs, a suffocating debt mountain, a possible recession and an increasingly dangerous conflict in Ukraine.

The 45-year-old from Rome, who is promising a crackdown on immigration and a cut in taxes, will also have big shoes to fill.

Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi, the widely respected former head of the European Central Bank, was seen as a reassuring figure by international investors, but he resigned in July after a mutiny within his national unity government.

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