Italy has officially moved further to the right than at any time since the end of World War II. Under the gold of the Quirinale presidential palace in Rome, the new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, leader of the post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia party, and her ministers were sworn in on Saturday in the presence of President Sergio Mattarella. Each member of the government repeated the traditional oath to him: “I swear to be faithful to the Republic, to loyally respect the Constitution and the laws, and to carry out my duties in the exclusive interest of the nation.
Giorgia Meloni, dressed in a sober black suit, was the first to take the oath, followed by her two deputy prime ministers from her two coalition partners, Matteo Salvini, the leader of the anti-migrant League, and Antonio Tajani, a senior member of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party. After the swearing-in ceremony, Giorgia Meloni and her ministers were received by the president for a brief toast. Also present were those close to the head of government, including her companion of 41 years, the journalist Andrea Giambruno, and their six-year-old daughter Ginevra.
Pledges to Brussels
The list of ministers chosen by Giorgia Meloni, who with Fratelli d’Italia won a historic victory in the September 25 legislative elections with 26 per cent of the vote, reflects her desire to reassure Rome’s partners, who are worried about a far-right leader coming to power in Italy. The appointment of former European Parliament President Antonio Tajani as deputy prime minister of foreign affairs was immediately hailed on Friday evening by the president of the European People’s Party, Germany’s Manfred Weber, as “a guarantee of a pro-European and Atlanticist Italy”.
Of the 24 ministers, only six are women, and they have been given minor portfolios. The transfer of power between Mario Draghi and Giorgia Meloni will take place on Sunday morning at the Palazzo Chigi, the seat of government just a stone’s throw from parliament, and will be followed by the first Council of Ministers.