Giorgia Meloni has claimed victory in Italy’s elections, after exit polls gave her right-wing coalition a clear majority, putting her on course to create the most rightwing government since the end of the second world war. This is unlikely to be welcomed by Paris or Brussels, as they seek to keep Europe united in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Meloni has condemned Russia’s invasion and supported sending weapons to Ukraine, but it remains unclear whether her government will back the eighth round of EU sanctions being discussed in Brussels. Matteo Salvini, whose far-right League forms part of her coalition, has claimed the sanctions were bringing Italy to its knees. However, he never blocked any EU measures against Russia when in Mario Draghi’s broad coalition government, which collapsed in July.