Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader and conservative firebrand Giorgia Meloni has said that the establishment left is afraid of her right-populist coalition winning the Italian national election this weekend, promising a new era of freedom for Italians.
Meloni made her comments this week during a rally in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, saying: “Italy is better than the left-wing governments it has had in recent years. The left is there to blather that everyone is afraid, but the only ones who are afraid are them because they have understood that their system of power is about to end.”
“We are ready, until the last vote, to restore freedom and pride to this nation. They say the markets, Europe, TikTok singers, actors, and influencers are worried about a centre-right victory. We don’t care what they say. We care what the Italians think,” Meloni continued, in comments reported by the newspaper Il Giornale.
“We are scary. But to whom? We only scare those who fear losing power, certainly not the Italians. We have shown that we are not as naïve as the mainstream hoped we were. Thank you for showing that in our part of Italy politics is love and not hate, it is not a crusade against one’s opponents but is made up of concrete proposals,” she said.
Meloni promised to enact major reforms to the Italian presidency if her coalition is victorious on Sunday. The reform could allow the Italian president to be directly elected by the Italian people, rather than appointed by the Italian parliament — but Meloni will require a two-thirds majority to enact this constitutional change.
League (Lega) leader Matteo Salvini also attended the Rome rally and gave a speech.
“They put their souls in peace in Brussels, Paris, or Berlin. You vote, the Italians vote. We want to govern well and together for five years,” he said.
“Today I am here at 49 and for trying to block ships arriving illegally in Italy, on the basis of the mandate given by the Italians, I risk 15 years in prison. But I did it with conviction. And, gentlemen, I can’t wait to do it again,” Salvini added, referring to his stint at interior minister in a failed coalition government between his party and the left-populist Five Star Movement (M5S), later supplanted by the establishment left and then a government of technocrats, which largely dismantled his border controls.
Salvini faces an ongoing trial over allegations of kidnapping when he refused to allow a migrant taxi NGO ship to disembark in Italy while serving as interior minister in 2019.
Illegal migration has been a major campaign topic for Salvini’s party, as illegal arrivals have surged this year to over 66,000. He has hinted at wanting to return to the interior ministry where he was successful at reducing both illegal arrivals and drownings in the Mediterranean Sea, assuming Meloni’s party wins a larger share of the vote than his and she becomes Prime Minister.