• Take a walk on the left side

    11 July 2023, Greta Thunberg demonstrating together with environmental activists at the European Parliament for the Nature Restoration Law. Photo: AP Photo.

    Now that the 2024 EU elections are getting closer, one question haunts me: has a progressive alternative to the rampant right-wing really been tried? This further obsesses me due to the place from which I write, Meloniland.

    Even before she became Italy’s prime minister, Giorgia Meloni negotiated a tactical alliance with the European People’s Party; this so-called moderate right has broken the cordon sanitaire and normalised the extreme wing. Europe could shift to the right in 2024. Faced with this scenario, one would expect an effective and united response from the left.

    When the left joins forces, it works. In Spain, the Sanchez-Diaz duo counterbalanced the surge toward the right. At the European Parliament, the Socialists, the Greens, the Left and part of the Liberals managed to form a majority to defend the Green Deal against right-wing attacks. The French left-wing “Nupes” alliance had a good debut in last summer’s legislative elections. The struggle for social and climate justice is mobilising voters.

    But political leaders are reluctant to act accordingly. At an EU level, the Socialist group’s president Iratxe García Pérez is still hoping for a grand coalition with the EPP, even though its leader, Manfred Weber, is the normaliser of Meloni and the extreme right in Europe.

    Even at the epicentre of the far right, in Italy, the alternative appears weak and disorganised. Were it not for the internal divisions in her opposition, Meloni would not have won the government so easily.

    But now that we are witnessing the Orbanisation of Italy, the country’s Democratic Party has been forced to change: the open race for the leadership was won by Elly Schlein, who promised to give the left a new boost. The proposal for a minimum wage, supported by all opposition forces, is a first positive signal in the Spanish style.

    It remains to be seen to what extent the left will be able to generate new momentum.

    This article is part of the "Left in the dark?" edition
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