Right-wing Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wins senate vote

Access to the comments Comments
By Isabella Jewell  with AFP
Giorgia Meloni, Italian Prime Minister
Giorgia Meloni, Italian Prime Minister   -  Copyright  Andrew Medichini/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

As predicted, Italy's right-wing Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has won the second and final vote in parliament required to govern by a comfortable margin. 

The vote in the Senate on Wednesday night saw 115 votes in favour of her coalition government and 79 against, with five abstentions, surpassing the minimum 104 votes required for a majority.

The Fratelli d'Italia leader will be the country's first female Prime Minister and will lead Italy alongside anti-migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and conservative former Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Meloni made sure to distance herself from claims that her party is nostalgic for fascism and sympathetic to Russia, stating that she "cannot accept" Russia's "war of aggression" on Ukraine.

She also said that her government wants to "stop the illegal [migrant] departures and put an end to human trafficking".

The new interior minister Matteo Piantedosi has suggested reviving a controversial 2019 policy that could ban NGO ships carrying migrants from entering Italian waters.

Piantedosi said on Wednesday the boats' activities were "not in line with the spirit of European and Italian rules" on border security.

The comments came after the Italian coastguard rescued more than 1,000 people on board two boats in the Mediterranean Sea. Two dead bodies were also recovered.

According to the NGO Alarm Phone, the two boats left the Libyan coast and came into difficulty on Tuesday.