Italy's Meloni to stand in EU elections in bid to boost ruling party

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on Sunday she would stand in upcoming European Parliament elections, a move apparently calculated to boost her far-right party, although she would be forced to resign immediately.

Meloni's Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-Fascist roots, came top in Italy's 2022 general election with 26 percent of the vote.

It is polling at similar levels ahead of the European elections on from June 6-9.

With Meloni heading the list of candidates, Brothers of Italy could exploit its national popularity at the EU level, even though EU rules require that any winner already holding a ministerial position must immediately resign from the EU assembly.

"We want to do in Europe exactly what we did in Italy on September 25, 2022 – creating a majority that brings together the forces of the right to finally send the left into opposition, even in Europe!" Meloni told a party event in the Adriatic city of Pescara.

In a fiery, sweeping speech touching briefly on issues from surrogacy and Ramadan to artificial meat, Meloni extolled her coalition government's one-and-a-half years in power and what she said were its efforts to combat illegal immigration, protect families and defend Christian values.

"I am Giorgia, I am a woman, I am a mother, I am Italian, I am a Christian" she famously declared at a 2019 rally.


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