Italian prime minister Giorgia Meloni wants to “defend” the family. She kept repeating this catchphrase last week, when she spoke at Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s Demographic summit in Budapest. And I can assume that she really wants to “defend the family”. At least, her own.
Since the Brothers of Italy party’s leader took charge of the government, Meloni’s family-first policy has begun to form: she appointed her own brother-in-law, Francesco Lollobrigida, as the Agriculture Minister. He first met the Meloni family at the beginning of 2000 because of their common involvement in far-right politics. Lollobrigida is still a supporter of the “Replacement Theory” – a conspiracy theory about migration – and he says it publicly.
Another striking decision came in August, when Meloni named her sister Arianna as the head of the Brothers of Italy party secretariat, with the role of managing the membership department. Arianna Meloni will almost certainly be a candidate for the European Parliamentary elections, and this is thanks to her surname: voters are regarded as inclined to vote for “Meloni” if that name is on the electoral list.
Giorgia Meloni is used to blaming journalists and satirists: she accuses them of criticising her family. But the weird thing is that, in her case, her family also represents… Italian politics. Giorgia Meloni trusts in the family, and she uses her family as a trust. She refers to fiduciary relationships with a lack of public accountability. And she wants to keep a monopolistic control of the political processes. It now seems that there is no distinction between Meloni’s government, her party and her family. This triangle reveals an abnormal concentration of power, and it shows how Meloni’s grip on power works: it is designed to prevent dissent. The irony is that Giorgia Meloni loves to talk about turning Italy into a “meritocracy”…