Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni sworn in as Italy’s first female prime minister

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By Euronews  with AP
Brothers of Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni reads to the media the list of the ministers of Italy's new government after presenting it to Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Brothers of Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni reads to the media the list of the ministers of Italy's new government after presenting it to Italian President Sergio Mattarella.   -   Copyright  P Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Giorgia Meloni, whose political party with neo-fascist roots, Brothers of Italy, emerged victorious in recent elections, was sworn in on Saturday as Italy’s first far-right prime minister since the end of World War II. 

Meloni, who is also Italy's first woman PM, recited the oath of office before President Sergio Mattarella, who formally asked her to form a government a day earlier.

Fratelli d'Italia or Brothers of Italy, which she co-founded in 2012, will rule in coalition with the right-wing Lega or League of Matteo Salvini and the conservative Forza Italia party headed by octogenarian mainstay Silvio Berlusconi. 

Lega and Forza Italia's popularity has sagged with voters in recent years.

Meloni's 24 ministers followed, similarly swearing in. Five of the ministers are technocrats not representing any party, while six of the 24 are women.

In her campaign for the 25 September election, Meloni insisted that national interests prevail over European Union policies should there be conflict. In the past, she often railed against EU bureaucracy.

Salvini’s right-wing League party has at times leaned Euroskeptic. An admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Salvini has also questioned the wisdom of EU sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, arguing that they hurt Italian business interests more than Russian ones.

He was appointed as Italy’s new infrastructure minister.

There are, however, several pro-European ministers in Italy's new government, such as its new economy minister 55-year-old Giancarlo Giorgetti, a relatively pro-European member of the League Party.

The country’s new foreign minister Antonio Tajani spent most of his career in politics serving in EU-related posts, including the European Commission and the European Parliament, which he led between 2017 and 2019.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Meloni in a tweet right after she was sworn in and noted that the Italian was the first woman to hold the premiership.

“I count on and look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government on the challenges we face together,” the EU chief said.

Meloni’s government replaces the one led by Mario Draghi, a former European Central Bank chief. He was appointed in 2021 to lead a pandemic national unity coalition. 

Watch Euronews' report from Rome in the video player above to learn more.

Additional sources • Reuters