Italy's right-wing parties ready for September polls
Italy's main right-wing leaders meet today to formulate a joint battle plan for the September elections.
The representatives of Italy's main right-wing parties are scheduled to meet in Rome today, Wednesday, to formulate a joint battle plan for the September elections, with polls pointing to victory but divisions already showing.
Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy, which has neo-fascist roots, tops opinion surveys at between 23 and 25% but needs the support of allies Forza Italia, the center-right party led by former premier Silvio Berlusconi, and Matteo Salvini's anti-immigration League to form a government.
The trio's main topic of discussion in their scheduled meeting will be who would become prime minister to replace Mario Draghi, who resigned last week after the collapse of his governing coalition.
Meloni, whose party has an anti-immigration and eurosceptic program, said this week that without agreeing in advance on a premier, "the alliance to govern together is useless".
However, Salvini's League wants the party with the biggest number of votes to make the choice, hoping that its own numbers will increase.
The League is currently polling at around 12 to 14%, according to surveys the Corriere Della Sera daily published on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, media reports suggest Berlusconi, whose Forza Italia is polling between seven and 10%, is concerned that naming Meloni as premier now would alienate voters concerned by her radical ideas.
Forza Italia has also struggled with a wave of defections last week since it pulled out of Draghi's government, with nine lawmakers including three ministers quitting.
The League and the populist Five Star Movement also took back their support for Draghi's coalition, which was due to last one more year until the 2023 scheduled elections.
Brothers of Italy was the only main party not to join Draghi's government when he was parachuted to lead the eurozone's third largest economy in February 2021.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the center-left Democratic Party is polling close to the Brothers of Italy but would fight to win power when there is no alliance with other parties.
The uncertainty comes as Italy applies far-reaching reforms in return for billions of euros in EU post-pandemic recovery funds, against a backdrop of soaring inflation and concerns about energy supply due to the war in Ukraine. S&P Global Ratings revised late Tuesday Italy's outlook to stable from positive.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella announced last week that he had dissolved parliament and early elections would be called, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Earlier, Draghi resigned as Italy's Prime Minister after his attempt to save his wide coalition failed when three important parties voted against a confidence motion, setting the path for quick elections as early as late September.