Giorgia Meloni: Pioneering Italy’s Political Landscape as the First Female Prime Minister
Giorgia Meloni, a significant figure in Italian politics, has etched her name in history as Italy’s inaugural female prime minister. Leading the Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia), a party with roots in neofascism, her elevation to the highest office marks a pivotal moment in Italian political history. Her estimated net worth stands at $28 million.
This article delves into the life, career, and journey of Giorgia Meloni to the position of Italy’s prime minister.
Early Life and Entry into Post-Fascist Politics
Born on January 15, 1977, in Rome, Italy, Giorgia Meloni spent her formative years in the working-class neighbourhood of Garbatella. Raised by her mother after her father’s departure, she developed an early interest in politics. At the age of 15, she aligned herself with the Italian Social Movement (Movimento Sociale Italiano; MSI), a right-wing party rooted in the ideology of former fascist leader Benito Mussolini. Her vocal support for Mussolini during her youth positioned her within post-fascist political circles.
In 1998, Meloni was elected as a councillor in the provincial government of Rome, a role she held until 2002. Her political trajectory gained momentum with the return of media magnate Silvio Berlusconi to power. Elected to the Chamber of Deputies, the Italian parliament’s lower house, in 2006, she later became the youngest minister in postwar Italian political history when she assumed the youth portfolio in Berlusconi’s cabinet.
Founding the Brothers of Italy
Meloni’s political journey continued, and in 2012, she co-founded the Brothers of Italy with Ignazio La Russa and Guido Crosetto, fellow National Alliance veterans. The party’s platform aligned with populist, Euroskeptic movements, opposing immigration and EU supremacy.
Meloni’s leadership acumen became evident as she assumed the role of the party’s leader in 2014.
Political Evolution and Rise to Prime Minister
In 2016, Giorgia Meloni ran for mayor of Rome, securing the third position and missing the second-round runoff. The 2018 general election saw the Brothers of Italy garnering 4 per cent of the vote, a substantial improvement from their 2013 performance.
In 2020, Meloni’s recognition expanded when she was named president of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) within the European Parliament, earning acknowledgement from European populist parties.
The collapse of Mario Draghi’s unity government in 2022 precipitated snap elections. As Italy’s major opposition figure, Meloni united right-wing parties, securing a resounding victory with the Brothers of Italy capturing 26 per cent of the vote.
On October 22, 2022, Giorgia Meloni created history as Italy’s first female prime minister, spearheading Italy’s first far-right government since World War II.
From 2015 to 2023, Giorgia Meloni was in a relationship with journalist Andrea Giambruno, with whom she shares a daughter, Ginevra. In 2023, she terminated the relationship due to Giambruno’s inappropriate remarks on a TV program. Identifying as a Roman Catholic, she values her Christian beliefs and traditional family values, despite being unmarried to her child’s father.
While facing criticism for employing the old Italian fascist slogan, “God, fatherland, and family,” she has distanced herself from Italy’s fascist past.
Meloni, an admirer of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, draws inspiration from his works in her political career. She also holds British philosopher Roger Scruton in high regard and expresses a preference for the British Tory Party.
Fluent in Italian, English, French, and Spanish, Forbes recognised her as the seventh most powerful woman in the world in December 2022.
Giorgia Meloni’s journey, from her early days in Garbatella to becoming Italy’s prime minister, exemplifies her resilience and leadership. Her political evolution, transitioning from post-fascist roots to leading a far-right government, underscores her adaptability and coalition-building skills. As Italy’s first female prime minister, she is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the country’s political landscape and guiding its policies.