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Former Italian leftwing PM: Giorgia Meloni is no fascist

'Fake news'

A former left-wing Italian prime minister has rubbished claims that the country’s new Prime Minister may raise a risk of fascism, describing media descriptions as “absolutely fake news”.

‘Frankly speaking, I was against Giorgia Meloni. I’m not her best friend and we grew up together in politics. We are rivals .. and we will continue to fight each other, but she is not a danger to Italian democracy. The idea there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news,’ he told CNN.

“She won election particularly because of populism,” he added. “A lot of times it has won in Italy.”

His reaction came as international news reports, including some here in Ireland, describe Ms Meloni as a ‘far-right’ politician with ‘neo fascist’ roots.

Writing on this platform, Matt Treacy observed that Ms Meloni’s party has “policies on immigration are similar to those of other parties of the European right, and indeed not dissimilar to some of the actual measures now being implemented by the Social Democratic government in Denmark.”

They promise to introduce deportation of criminals, to remove the right to dual citizenship, and introduce quotas for the numbers of immigrants from each country. They and their allies also want to see the implementation of stricter border controls in co-operation with north African states to prevent people trafficking by criminal gangs.

Crime generally is a major concern in Italy and Fratelli have said that they will deploy more resources against drug dealers and organised crime in the mafia. The other likely members of a Fratelli led coalition broadly agree on policy and have a common platform based on the fundamental idea of the “Defence and promotion of the classical and Judeo-Christian historical and cultural roots and identities of Europe.”

They also agree on the need to protect Italy’s key energy and other infrastructure which includes the maintenance of the state interest in key public utilities including the national airline. They support tax cuts for household and local businesses. The focus of their tax and enterprise policies are the self-employed, and small and micro businesses. They also propose to protect and encourage Italian families through a whole range of radical measures from reducing costs of childcare, pro-family mortgage policies, support for working mothers and incentives for larger families through a “family quotient.”

Their welfare policies are similarly designed to support families and are also clearly at odds with a dependency welfarist culture. They wish instead to encourage people to enter the workforce through the application of their own skills and initiative and will provide supports for those with physical and other disadvantages, However, they also intend to abolish the basic income and Fratelli in particular have called for measures against welfare abuse.

So that’s what constitutes being “far right” these days.

A speech by Ms Meloni laying out her beliefs has gone viral this week.

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