Electoral roll call. As the September 25 elections drew nearer, the parties presented their electoral rolls. Most had to make sacrifices to compile them because the total number of MPs will be reduced. But Giorgia Meloni, whose single-digit party is expected to garner well over 20% of the votes, took the opportunity to consolidate her project: creating a new mainstream conservative force.
- Ms Meloni is tapping Italy’s reserves of political talent. Some would call out the figures she chose as belonging to the “establishment,” as she selected former ministers and personalities from the moderate world.
Here are the names you should keep an eye on.
- Raffaele Fitto, former president of the Apulia Region and Regional Affairs Minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s fourth government. Today he is an MEP co-chairing ECR, the European Parliament’s Conservatives, presided by Ms Meloni. He is slated to become the figure in charge of Italy’s National Recovery Plan.
- Carlo Nordio, former magistrate, consultant to the Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism and president of the Ministerial Commission for the reform of the criminal code. He was, until his retirement in 2017, deputy prosecutor of the Venice Public Prosecutor’s Office, and he dealt with economic crimes, corruption and medical liability. He is a member of the board of directors of the Luigi Einaudi Onlus Foundation, an influential liberal think-tank. During the presidential election in early 2022, the centre-right coalition included his name in the candidate shortlist.
- Giuseppe Pecoraro, former Deputy Chief of Police in charge of coordination and planning, and Prefect of Rome (a high-ranking public servant representing the State in a given province). He was attorney general at the Italian Football Federation.
- Marcello Pera, former Speaker of the Senate. He co-founded Forza Italia, Silvio Berlusconi’s party, in 1994. He’s a philosopher and scholar known for his work on Karl Popper. He had defined himself as a “non-believer” in the past; he then approached the Christian thought, accepting the invitation to live “as if God existed” addressed to him by Pope Benedict XVI, with whom he wrote a book on the matter of Europe’s Christian roots (Without roots).
- Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, career diplomat, former Director of Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to Israel, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador to the United States. He was Foreign Minister during Mario Monti’s government. Today he heads Brothers of Italy’s diplomatic relations and coordinates the international policy department of the Luigi Einaudi Onlus Foundation. He is a member of the advisory board of United Against Nuclear Iran and is known in the international community for his activism against the Chinese Communist Party. He says of himself: “Transatlantic relations, international security, development and the protection of human rights are the issues that are closest to my heart.”
- Giulio Tremonti, former Minister of Economy and Finance during Silvio Berlusconi’s government. He is president of the Italian division of the Aspen Institute and managing director of the Italy-USA Foundation. In 2006, as Minister of Economy, he clashed with the then Minister of Defence, Antonio Martino, over China. At the time, he said that “the problem with [our] relationship with China is this: they are eating us alive. The goods that go to China have Chinese duties; the goods that come to Europe do not. I want duties and quotas in our country for many years until we are reconverted from an industrial point of view.”
- Adolfo Urso, former deputy minister in Silvio Berlusconi’s governments and current president of the parliamentary committee overseeing Italian intelligence. He called the recent attack on Italy by the vice-president of the Russian National Security Council, Dmitri Medvedev, a “farce,” but warned of the “real” risk of hostile foreign powers interfering in the elections. “Russia and China are authoritarian regimes that have been pervasively acting for some time through propaganda, fake news, and espionage systems,” he said.
A few more names. Former MP Guido Crosetto, now president of the Federation of Italian Companies for Aerospace, Defence and Security, is also worthy of mention. He is not on Brothers of Italy’s electoral roll but could carve himself a position in a government led by Giorgia Meloni.
The worlds of foreign affairs and defence could also find interlocutors in Ignazio La Russa, Vice-President of the Senate and former Minister of Defence; Andrea Delmastro Delle Vedove, leader of Brothers of Italy’s group in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and responsible for the party’s Justice Department; and Isabella Rauti, a member of the Senate’s Defence Committee.
The man for telecommunications is and remains Alessio Butti, ready to return to the Senate after five years in the Chamber. On the innovation and culture side of things, the household name is Federico Mollicone.
Lastly, there are some personalities that could be considered for government positions, such as Marcello Gemmato, a health expert, and Ylenja Lucaselli, for the economy.