A Rising Opponent to Far-Right Italian Prime Minister Meloni

By Faith Gonia

When Giorgia Meloni, member of the Brothers of Italy party, became Italy’s Prime Minister in Fall 2022, many Italians feared the new leader’s far-right beliefs. Though founded in 2012, Brothers of Italy defends ideology dating back to neo-fascism in post-World War II Italy. At the time of the party’s establishment, Meloni herself described it as “a new party for an old tradition”—a statement clearly meant to compliment the body’s historic, Mussolini-esque Italian Socialist Movement (MSI).  

Throughout her political career, Meloni has expressed openly conservative, often discriminatory beliefs. Last June, the then-candidate listed her stances on current political issues, forthrightly proclaiming, “…no to the LGBT lobby…”. Meloni’s stubborn stance on gay marriage has prompted fear in Italy’s LGBTQ+ community. 

Aware of the nation’s rocky state, a new woman found her way to political leadership— Elly Schlein. Holding progressive beliefs, the new leader of the Italian Democratic Party has gained a public image of being Meloni’s primary opposition. With views contradicting those of Meloni both domestically and internationally, Schlein aims to address more liberal issues, LGTBQ+ rights being one of the many.

Tasked with the crucial challenge of uniting the Italian Left, Schlein is expected to rebuild the country’s Democratic party. Regardless of the leader’s anticipated challenge, a large portion of Italy finds security in Schlein’s contrast to current Prime Minister Meloni. The two’s public clash has illustrated Italy’s current and ongoing political divide, one that partly stems from the country’s fascist history.