28th Nov 2023


Background reads: Italy's election

  • Next week Georgia Meloni might be prime minister of Italy (Photo: Wikimedia)
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Voters in Italy, the third largest eurozone country, are going to the ballot box this Sunday, and are likely to vote in a rightwing government with possibly a neo-fascist prime minister. Here's how we got here — in previously published articles.

EUobserver has been around for more than two decades, during which we published almost 74,000 articles. I, as freshly minted editor-in-chief, have published one. Or two, if you count this one.

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Nonetheless, our archive — which is fully-accessible for our members — contains a plethora of articles that can illustrate the history and context of current European events, such as the upcoming Italian elections.

Since you won't have the time to comb through our content catacombs, I asked our editors and writers to share any article pertinent for understanding this possible milestone in Europe's swing to (far)-right.

Here are their picks:

The rise of Italy's new far-right star: Giorgia Meloni

Jun 6, 2022 — Valentina Saini

The 45-year old Meloni and her ultranationalist Fratelli d'Italia [Brothers of Italy] are leading the latest polls. But who is she and what does she want?

This profile by Valentina Saini paints a concise picture of Meloni from her roots (at 15!) in the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement, to her meteoric rise through the ranks, to being on the verge of becoming Italy's first female prime minister.

Read it here.

Further reading:

+ Beyond Salvini: the rise of Eurosceptic Giorgia Meloni

Italy poised to elect far-right rulers

Aug 8, 2022 — Andrew Rettman

Mario Draghi's — somewhat surprising — demise after his cut-short stint as prime minister was quickly followed by the spectre of a possible far-right victory in the elections.

Sunday's snap elections take place as Italy struggles to live up to the EU Commission's expectations on pandemic fund disbursement and racial tensions following two widely-covered incidents.

Read it here.

Further reading:

+ Far-right alarm bells for next Italian election

A despondent Mario Draghi in the European Parliament (Photo: European Parliament)

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Jul 21, 2022 — Alvise Armellini

For some more background on the shifting alliances that caused the collapse of Draghi's coalition — which he branded in 2021 as a "civil miracle" — don't miss this article by freelance journalist Alvise Armellini. And watch out for his brutal final sentence: "Incidentally, the three parties that brought him down all sympathise with Russian president Vladimir Putin."

Read it here.

Further reading:

+ In Italy, sighs of relief as Mattarella stays put

+ Italy back in chaos, as Draghi quits over 5-Star snub

+ Why Draghi could be a two-term prime-minister

Can Salvini stop the League from splitting up?

Oct 11, 2021 — Valentina Saini

Matteo Salvini, whose League party is set to join Meloni's right-wing coalition together with former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forward Italy — giving them an absolute majority in both chambers, according to the latest polls — was teetering on the brink late in 2021.

Joining Draghi's coalition in 2021 put the staunch anti-EU politician in a bind, with voters leaving his League party in favour of Brothers of Italy. With the new coalition, chances are he can brandish his bad boy of Italian politics image once again.

Read it here.

Further reading:

+ 'Wife, or mistress?' The Salvini-Berlusconi hook-up

+ Exposed: How Russia offered to fund Italy's Salvini

Italy's mafias — boosted by Covid, now eyeing EU's billions

Apr 7, 2021 — Valentina Saini

The incoming right-wing government will have to deal with a number of issues the country is facing, one of which is EU scrutiny of the disbursement of pandemic relief funds provided by the EU.

Fears persist that the Italian mafia will — through corrupt officials rather than violence — try to get their hands on the billions of euros flowing into the country.

Read it here.

Further reading:

+ Wobbly Italy gets first EU billions of pandemic aid

+ Remembering Falcone: How Italy almost became a narco-state

+ Exposed: How Russia offered to fund Italy's Salvini


Europe braces for far-right Italy This WEEK

The far-right Brothers of Italy, which dominates the conservative alliance, is set to be the largest single party, and has widened its lead over the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

Okay, alright, AI might be useful after all

Large Language Models could give the powers trained data-journalists wield, to regular boring journalists like me — who don't know how to use Python. And that makes me tremendously excited, to be honest.

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