On September 25, Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni led her Brothers of Italy party to victory in the country’s parliament.
She won an absolute majority in both the upper and lower houses, unseating the previous cross-party Draghi government.
Winning both houses allows Meloni’s government to pass legislation freely, without having to secure the support of parties outside her centre-right coalition.
Meloni’s victory has caused a stir well beyond the borders of Italy, with governments across the continent fearing that this result might mark the beginning of a far right tide sweeping through European democracies.
Her historic ties with far right movements, as well as her rhetoric that places “God, the family and the state” above all else, have been used by opponents to liken her to Mussolini, Italy’s fascist dictator between the 1920s and 40s.
Meloni places high importance on personal identity and traditional values, which she says have been marginalised and demonised by progressive forces, leading her government to take a tough stance on the LGBTQ+ movement.
Brothers of Italy is widely expected to further limit the already restricted rights of the LGBTQ+ community in Italy, as well as potentially rolling back abortion rights.
The development in the EU’s third largest economy has been met with anxiety and distress by European leaders.
Italy’s last far-right government, Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, drew Italy into World War Two on the side of the Axis.
However, Meloni’s repudiation of Russia since the country’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, as well as her support for NATO has calmed some fears.