Giorgia Meloni: “Bills, taxes and family: Italians will vote for change”

September 23, 2022 – 06:55

Interview with the leader of the Brothers of Italy: “We are not a danger for democracy, but for the hegemony of the Democratic Party”

from Roberto De Ponti

Giorgia Meloni, what is about to end was not the easiest election campaign of your career? After all, she simply had to wait for the elections to come to her. The only real problem was stopping her allies, who sometimes get into trouble by talking …

“He’s right, it wasn’t a good election campaign but certainly not my fault or that of the center-right. The left has unleashed an unprecedented campaign of hatred against me and the Brothers of Italy. They have been saying for days that we would be a danger to democracy, but the truth is that we are a danger to the hegemony of power of the Democratic Party, which has been in government for ten years without ever winning the elections and who is terrified of the idea of be sent home. They no longer have any identity other than that of maintaining power at any cost. But the Italians have understood this and want to change ».

He has always maintained that your coalition has only one written program. But he must admit that the words of a party leader have their own weight, even if they are not included in the program: Letta argues that you, Salvini and Berlusconi have three very different positions on fiscal policy, international positioning and immigration. How do you manage to make them coexist? Before the vote it’s easier, but after …

“Letta can say what he wants but the gossip is zero: the center-right has a common program signed by all the forces that are part of the coalition, it is together by conviction and not by constraint, and shares the same vision of the world and the same fundamental choices. From positioning in foreign policy to fighting mass illegal immigration, from supporting the family to reducing the tax burden. Can the left say the same thing? I would say really no ».

The polls gave his coalition a clear advantage. Adversaries and companions in adventure recognize a basic coherence. Is this what you paid for? Or was it enough to stay in the opposition and wait? In the last rounds of elections the outgoing government forces have always lost, and in this case there was only you in the opposition …

“Look, we have always made a tough opposition to the government but never to Italy. And in Parliament we have never lacked our support when it came to voting on measures useful for citizens. And we did it, of course, respecting our positions and always keeping the bar straight. The Italians appreciated our consistency and understood that we are serious people who always keep the commitments made ».

How much does it bother you to be described as “not very credible abroad” by your opponents? And why, in your opinion, is she credible instead?

“What bothers me most is that the left is willing to do anything to govern, even to tell abroad that the ten plagues of Egypt would befall Italy in the event of a center-right victory. They do not realize that they are not hitting me, but Italy. In your opinion, what result does it have to say, as the foreign minister did, that we intend to unleash an “economic war”? Damaging Italy, driving investors away, alarming the markets. The left is willing to do anything. We do not”.

Speaking of credibility, you have spoken out in defense of Orban against EU cuts to Hungary. You said you won the elections democratically. But dictatorships often legitimize themselves ex post with elections. Orban, and the sympathies towards him, are not an assist to those who accuse her of lack of international reliability, just like Salvini’s Russian friendships?

“I’m frankly tired of having to answer questions about Hungary or the international positioning of the center-right, which is clear and limpid. Unlike that of the Democratic Party which, I point out, has allied itself with those who voted against the entry into NATO of Sweden and Finland and in its program writes that the sending of weapons to Kiev must be stopped immediately. Who is more reliable in the eyes of our allies? Us or who makes an electoral pact with the nostalgic radical left of the USSR? Let’s be serious ».

Let’s go back to the electoral campaign: I imagine that you do not wish the undecided to vote, because the numbers at the moment say that you will win and therefore changing the balance could be risky. Or do you think you can even get two-thirds of the Parliament, with all that goes with it?

«I believe instead that September 25 is a great celebration of democracy and I hope that as many Italians as possible go to vote. Indeed, I take the opportunity of the space of this magazine to appeal also to your readers: get informed, read the programs and next Sunday go to the polling station. The last word is up to you and it only takes five minutes to decide the next five years. We are not afraid of the judgment of the Italians, the citizens are always right. And it will be up to them alone to decide where the Brothers of Italy will arrive ».

The three urgencies you will have to face if you go to government?

«The first is definitely the bill emergency. And we can face it by continuing the battle for a European gas price ceiling, which is growing due to speculation and which cannot be adopted due to the resistance of Germany and the Netherlands. The other fundamental measure is the decoupling of the price of gas from that of energy. This too, if done at the European level, is more effective, but it can also be done at the national level. It costs 3-4 billion euros and has an immediate effect on bills ».

«The tax cut, starting from the tax wedge to put more money in the pockets of workers and give businesses a breather. Just as we want to introduce taxation based on the principle “the more you hire, the less you pay” to reward those who create wealth and jobs ».

«Support for the family and the birth rate, another fixed point because if we do not return to producing ‘demographic GDP’ Italy is destined to disappear. We need an impressive plan: increase in the single universal allowance, progressive introduction of the family quotient, incentives for companies that hire new mothers and women and invest in work-life balance tools, support for municipalities to guarantee free and open nurseries until hours closing of shops and offices. And then the yard of institutional reforms, starting with the mother of all: presidentialism ».

Does a campaign where you fight over a singer who didn’t want to sing the verse of a popular song like “Bella ciao” make sense?

«You don’t have to ask me but whoever raised this controversy. Personally, I have no problem defending the right of a public figure not to want to be exploited, by one side or the other, a few days before the vote ».

Tuscany seems to have remained the last stronghold of the center-left: do you cherish the hope of winning here too?

“Forts and strongholds no longer exist. And it seems to me that the Brothers of Italy have amply demonstrated this, leading the center-right to victory in cities deemed impregnable, by Pistoia and Piombino. And with excellent good governance results. Winning also in the Region? We are not afraid of impossible challenges ».

And what relationship will the future government have with this region? In these parts, they fear that being the only “opposition” region will not bring great advantages to Rome, on the contrary …

«If we were to go to the government, we will certainly have an institutional and collaborative relationship with the Region. Because we are interested in doing the good of the citizens, they are others who only look at the party card you have in your pocket ».

Speaking of Piombino: the regasification theme was a divisive topic. You said that if no alternatives are found, you would be forced to do so in the port, and Snam has repeatedly explained that in the short term there are no alternatives. Won’t this create problems in the area? Mayor Ferrari, who is part of his party, has always said he is against hosting a regasification ship in port.

«Look, we are in harmony with Mayor Ferrari and we are the first to say that the regasifiers in Italy are needed and that it is necessary to do them soon. Piombino is a city that has already paid a high price and has never seen the promised compensation. We have the obligation to verify, without lengthening the time, if there could be a more suitable location. And so far the government and Commissioner Giani have not given the opportunity to do so. If this alternative does not exist, then it will be necessary to demonstrate that there is a more serious policy than that seen in the past in involving the territory and offering compensation ».

How do you see Giorgia Meloni on the morning of September 26th?

“Hand in hand with my daughter as I take her to school, as always.”



23 September 2022 | 06:55


Giorgia Meloni: “Bills, taxes and family: Italians will vote for change”