Why Italys new prime minister is being called the radical right

What happened?

Who is Giorgia Meloni?

Okay, first of all, who is Giorgia Meloni really? Well, someone who accidentally scored a number 1 hit in a speech three years ago. In that speech, she introduces herself as: โ€œa wife, a mother and a Christian.โ€

That also shows a bit of what she stands for, because in this speech, she consciously chose her words:

Meloni started politics at the age of fifteen and founded her own party ten years ago: Fratelli dItalia. That is the same name as the Italian national anthem and that too is intentional.

Her party is, in fact, nationalist. That means Meloni believes that Italians should always come first. In addition, she is also a conservative. This means that she is against too many changes compared to how it was all arranged in the past.

Meloni, for example, is against abortion, euthanasia, and against more rights for LGBTI people. Homosexual couples are allowed to live together, but they are not allowed to marry or adopt children. She is also against migration and not a fan of the European Union.

Why is she called the radical right?

But do these views make her radical right? โ€œYes,โ€ says political scientist Matthijs Rooduijn. โ€œIn political science, then you study politics, we have fixed concepts for different political movements. The radical right is one of them. And coincidentally, one where all political scientists pretty much agree on what does and doesnt belong to it.โ€

According to Rooduijn, the difference with other right-wing parties lies mainly in one important feature. โ€œRadical right-wing parties are not only nationalistic but also supporters of nativism. This means that they find one group very important, but exclude other groups. This is possible, for example, based on skin color or faith. In addition, the radical right is also authoritarian: the government must be strict with citizens and impose high penalties on people who do not follow the rules.โ€

Meloni and her party also have these characteristics, so, according to political science, she falls under the โ€œradical rightโ€. Thats why DecceIT calls her that. By the way, shes not alone: several European countries have radical right-wing parties. In the Netherlands, the PVV belongs to this club.

Is there a difference with the extreme right?

You may have heard of the term โ€œextreme rightโ€ before. Is that the same thing then? Rooduijn: โ€œNo, it looks a lot like it, but its certainly not the same. Extreme right-wing parties share the same characteristics and often agree with the radical right. But radical right-wing parties want to achieve their goals within democracy, within the system as politics is now regulated. Nor are they violent. The extreme right is, and the extreme right wants to forcibly ensure that a country is no longer a democracy.โ€

Why is Meloni also about fascism?

Another difficult word we mentioned in our video about Meloni and what its about a lot: fascism. Thats because Meloni started her political career with a fascist party and her own party also has ties to that political movement. Fascists want one political leader to have all the power. Opponents must be suppressed, often by force. The importance of the country comes before the interests of its inhabitants. Someone who is fascist is against democracy.

But Meloni has now distanced herself from her past views. She also now denies that she and her party are fascist. โ€œShe has really changed. I think you should judge politicians by their views and actions now,โ€ says political scientist Rooduijn.

But many Italians are not really reassured. In the past, the country was already fascist, and Melonis party members would still make regular references to that period.

Does radical links also exist?

Another question we received a lot in the comments: what about radical links? โ€œThat certainly also exists,โ€ says Rooduijn. โ€œAnd it actually works exactly the same as the right: the radical left wants to regulate the economy in a country completely differently and has positions that go quite far in terms of politics. But thats what they want to achieve within a democracy, without violence. While the extreme left does want to achieve those goals with a revolution and violence.โ€