Brussels on alert as far-right Orban ally storms ahead in Italy polls – eurosceptic surge

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The next Italian general elections are not technically scheduled until 2023, but rumours say Prime Minister Mario Draghi could be given the role of President of the Republic next year, pre-empting a general vote. The possibility could come as a blow to the EU as, at the moment, Brothers of Italy, the far-right party led by Giorgia Meloni, is heading all the recent polls.

Although the eurosceptic politician has moved from her initial campaign for Italy to leave the eurozone and ultimately the EU, Ms Meloni is still strongly against more integration in the bloc.

The Italian politician believes the EU should become a “confederation” of states and is fighting against the further strengthening of the bloc’s institutions.

Her party was founded in 2012 and Meloni was the youth minister from 2008 to 2011.

Her strong nationalist views saw the party fighting against the arrival of more irregular migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

She is also a strong ally of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who was a guest of honour at her party meeting in 2019.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Slovenian counterpart Janez Janša are also very close to Meloni.

Just a week ago, Ms Meloni was a guest at the strategic forum in Bled, organised by the current Slovenian EU presidency.

Her party is currently leading the polls with 21 percent, ahead of Matteo Salvini’s Lega at 20.6 percent.

The two leaders locked horns when Mr Salvini backed the technocratic government of Mario Draghi.

Ms Meloni remained in opposition with other small factions in the Italian parliament.

But the two parties would still form a pre-election coalition together with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, currently polling at 6.9 percent.

If Italy voted today, a coalition of the three right-wing party would see Ms Meloni become the country’s first female Prime Minister, according to a rule agreed by the three leaders that would see the party receiving most of the votes taking the top job.

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According to another poll released on September 4, Ms Meloni also has one of the highest personal approval ratings with 44.4 percent.

Mr Salvini and centre-left democratic party leader Enrico Letta trail behind with 31 percent and 29.6 percent respectively.

Even if the elections were to be held in 2023, experts consider the victory of the right-wing coalition the most probable at the end of Mario Draghi’s emergency term.

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