At the finish line. The latest polls had her party, Brothers of Italy, comfortably winning Sunday’s elections. Giorgia Meloni looks set to become Italy’s next PM, and she used the last hours of the electoral campaign to establish her credentials – touching on a few key foreign policy issues.
Embracing China’s Silk Road was “a big mistake,” she said on Friday, referring to the 2019 signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that turned Italy into the only G7 country to enter the Belt and Road Initiative.
“If I had to sign the renewal of that memorandum tomorrow morning, I would hardly see the political conditions” to do it, she added.
Standing by Taipei… Ms Meloni also noted that a centre-right government, Taiwan “will certainly be a key issue for Italy, and called China’s threats “unacceptable,” adding she’s been closely following the developments “with unease.”
…and Washington. “There are no doubts on the [international] position Italy must maintain,” said the BoI leader on Thursday. “We have demonstrated this from the opposition. The United States is one of our main allies – I have no doubts that, regardless of the [incumbent] administration at any given time, we must maintain a very solid relationship with the United States.”
- That, she added, means “standing tall in the Western camp, with reliability – also to work in defence of our national interest.” Namely, receiving compensation for the damage wrought by the sanctions on Russia.
An extended hand. Since the beginning of the conflict, said Ms Meloni, BoI has been pushing for a compensation fund, bankrolled by the entire West, to help the nations most affected by the sanctions. “We cannot deny that within the Western alliance, there are those who pay more, those who pay less and those who gain. Burdens must be redistributed.”
- “This is why Italy must have a very reliable and serious posture, also in order to be able to ask with greater credibility for the compensations that are necessary today.”