“Meloni speaks to the typical voter – and a more extreme group”

New elections are held in Italy on September 25. The run-up to the election has largely come to be about Italy’s brothers tipped for victory and the party’s fascist background.

As a 15-year-old, the party’s leader, Giorgia Meloni, joined the MSI – a party formed by supporters of Benito Mussolini after the Second World War.

Today she distances herself from fascism and said that “the Italian right relegated fascism to history decades ago”.

“Are there neo-fascists in the party? Absolutely”

But many are skeptical that the party has completely cut ties with fascism.

– Are the Brothers of Italy a fascist party in terms of their proposals? I do not think so. Are there neo-fascists and post-fascists in the party? Absolutely.

That’s according to Daniele Albertazzi, a political scientist who has studied the rise of right-wing populism in Europe. According to him, Meloni targets two different types of audience.

– On television, she addresses the typical voter. But in her speeches and at her meetings, she also addresses a more extreme group. She wants to bring both groups with her.

According to Albertazzi, the party is rather to be considered right-wing radical than fascist.

Links to Trump

Giorgia Meloni herself compares her party to the British Tory and the Republicans in the United States.

According to political scientist Nathalie Tocci, head of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, a think tank in Rome, Meloni has close ties to Donald Trump and his circle.

– I would say that is her most developed international connections. She was a supporter of Trump, says Nathalie Tocci.

According to Tocci, many of the ideas she puts forward follow the same lines.

– That is more worrying to me than her fascist roots. Because it raises the question of what it means to be a fascist in the 21st century. I’m more concerned if she has a regressive policy on human rights or migration.

Foreign Office: Mussolini’s flame available on SVT Play.

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In 2008, Giorgia Meloni became Italy’s youngest minister ever, when she took a seat in Silvio Berlusconi’s government. Photo: FABIO FRUSTACI/EPA

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