Italy will hold a snap election today following the resignation and collapse of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government.
As the former European Central Bank chief, Draghi had hoped to lead Italy’s economic and political recovery after the last decade’s instability. Yet with large debt and stagnant productivity compounded by a continent-wide energy crisis and inflation, any recovery now looks even less likely in the short term.
Draghi’s likely successor is Georgia Meloni, leader of the Fratelli d’Italia party. She would be Italy’s first female prime minister, and the head of the country’s most right-wing government since the 1940s. She has denied fascist sympathies despite her party’s visual and historical links.
Meloni will likely swing Italy right, weakening the pan-EU fabric. She is unlikely to adhere to EU-designated reforms outlined last summer as part of a pandemic recovery package, jeopardizing Rome’s relationship with Brussels and the chance of future assistance. Further, she’s unlikely to continue Draghi’s committed campaign with other EU leaders against Putin, as her likely coalition partners—the League and Forza Italia—both have close ties to Russia. She’s also likely to spar with Brussels on her desire to tighten immigration policies.
Jon is a Content Editor and Analyst within the Analysis division of Foreign Brief.