Giorgia Meloni has not only become Italy’s first female prime minister, but also the head of the country’s most right-wing government since the era of fascist leader Benito Mussolini.

Campaigning for “God, homeland and family”, Meloni is the first prime minister to come from a political party with roots in the Italian neofascist movement. She has denounced the fascist past of the Brothers of Italy, a party which now brands itself as a conservative populist movement with hardline stances against LGBTQ rights and asylum seekers.

The political gains of Brothers of Italy and the two other parties in the right-wing coalition – Matteo Salvini’s Lega party and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – are yet another instance of far-right populism’s growing mainstream appeal in European politics.

Meloni’s government must now address Italy’s economic crises – inflation and the rising cost of living and energy amid the war in Ukraine.

How will Meloni’s campaign rhetoric translate into policy? In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at what lies ahead for Italians.

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