Firebrand Conservative Giorgia Meloni Becomes First Female Italian Prime Minister in History

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 21: Leader of Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni arrives at the Quirin
Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Fireband social conservative Giorgia Meloni became Italy’s first-ever female prime minister on Friday following the approval from Italian President Sergio Mattarella to form Italy’s next government.

Giorgia Meloni made history on Friday following a huge election win last month for her party, the Brothers of Italy (FdI).

Meloni will be sworn in as prime minister at 10 a.m. on Saturday and has already announced who will take the positions in Italy’s various ministries as of Friday evening, the newspaper Il Giornale reported.

Meloni’s coalition allies – populist League leader Matteo Salvini, along with former European Parliament President and Forza Italia member Antonio Tajani – will become joint deputy prime ministers and will each head up their own government ministry.

Salvini – who hinted at wanting to return as interior minister, a position he held in 2018 and 2019 – will become the minister for infrastructure, while Tajani is set to become Italy’s next foreign minister. Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister and leader of Forza Italia, will remain as a senator.

Berlusconi and Meloni clashed just days prior to the announcement of the new government after the release of leaked audio of the former prime minister revealing his criticism of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and boasting that he was one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “best friends.”

Berlusconi was also said to have remarked that Putin’s ongoing war in Ukraine was justified and criticised Ukraine for allegedly increasing tensions by attacking the Donbas region.

Following the leaks and Pro-Putin remarks, Meloni slammed the former PM saying, “Italy, with its head high, is part of Europe and the Atlantic alliance.”

“Whoever doesn’t agree with this cornerstone cannot be part of the government, at the cost of not having a government,” she added.

Italy’s new interior minister, who will be tasked with handling the recent surge of illegal immigrant arrivals this year, is Matteo Piantedosi, the former chief of staff of Salvini during his tenure in the same job.

Piantedosi is largely seen as an apolitical civil servant according to the newspaper La Repubblica and has served in three separate governments. The appointment comes after Meloni had spoken of appointing technocrats to ministerial positions to avoid party squabbles this month.

Meloni has also previously made it clear she will prioritize illegal immigration, going so far as to float the idea of a naval blockade to halt boats carrying illegals in the Mediterranean.

Family policy was another major issue in Meloni’s election campaign manifesto, Brothers of Italy politician Eugenia Roccella is set to assume the office of family minister. Roccella has a history of statements against civil unions and assisted procreation or in vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as being vocally pro-life.

“I am a feminist and feminists have never considered abortion a right. Abortion is the dark side of motherhood,” Roccella said in August.

Meloni’s government’s major immediate concern is likely to be the economic situation of Italy, particularly regarding the looming energy crisis this winter.

Senior League member Giancarlo Giorgetti, who has been in parliament for 26 years, will be Italy’s next minister of the economy and previously served as industry minister in the last government headed by Mario Draghi. Giorgetti also received an endorsement from outgoing Economy Minister Daniele Franco this week.

Forza Italia Senator Paolo Zangrillo will take the helm of the ministry of the environment and energy security and has a career history of management in larger corporations such as Magneti Marelli and Fiat Powertrain (FPT).

Meloni has promised as part of her energy policy that she will fight against energy speculators to bring down energy costs for Italians.

“The priority will be the cost of energy, the issue is not how to compensate for speculation but how to stop it, we cannot continue to give billions to speculators,” Meloni said just days after her election win.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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