Italy took a sharp turn to the right on Monday as Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots, emerged as big winners in the country’s national elections.
The final results on Monday showed Meloni and her party won about 26% of the vote and the center-right coalition she leads scored 44% of parliamentary preferences, while Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant league won nearly 9% and former prime minister. and Berlusconi media mogul Silvio Forza Italia achieved 8%.
Meloni’s biggest challenger, with about 19.3% of the vote, is the center-left Democratic Party led by Enrico Letta, who has announced his resignation. Italy’s anti-establishment five-star movement — which had won the vote in the 2018 parliamentary election — saw its support halved this time to about 15%.
Meloni, who is 45, becomes Italy’s first female prime minister and heads the country’s most right-wing government since World War II.
She took the win while adhering to anti-immigration policies, as well as plans to restrict LGBTQ rights and abortions, although Meloni has maintained throughout the campaign that she has no intention of reversing Italian legislation introduced in 1978 and who made abortion legal.
For the country’s film and TV industry, the most immediate symbolic significance of this election is that Berlusconi – who was prime minister of Italy three times in the 1990s and 2000s – will be back in parliament after being ousted in November 2013. after a tax fraud conviction.
That conviction had barred the politician-turned media mogul who controls Italian commercial broadcaster Mediaset from running in the general election for six years.
Although Berlusconi still has a lawsuit pending for allegedly paying guests to lie about his ‘bunga bunga’ sex parties while he was prime minister – allegations he denies – the scandal-prone billionaire, who turns 86 on Thursday, will now return to Italy. parliament after being re-elected with more than 50% of the vote in the northern Monza constituency.
This time, Berlusconi will be joined in parliament by his newest girlfriend, Marta Fascina, 32, who won a seat in Sicily. Fascina will sit in the House of Representatives, while Berlusconi is elected to the Senate, the Senate.
While Italy’s new centre-right coalition is the winner of the election, the formation of the country’s new government, led by Meloni, will take several weeks of intense political horse trading to be voted on, with outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the lead until then. a nurturing role. The outcome of the government’s make-up — specifically who will head the country’s ministries of Culture and Economic Development — will help shed light on how the country’s shift to the right is affecting the country’s film and TV sectors. will affect.
What is clear even at this stage is that, while Meloni has been known to lash out against the European Union, is not expected to take an anti-EU stance as prime minister.
Italy is one of the largest beneficiaries of the EU’s post-pandemic recovery fund and Berlusconi has said his inclusion in the centre-right coalition will ensure Italy remains firmly anchored in the EU.
“There are no big surprises. I expect a relatively small impact given that the League, the party with the least pro-European stance, seems to have come out weak,” Giuseppe Sersale, an Italian fund manager and market analyst, told Reuters.
Speak with Variety ahead of the vote, Antonio Maccanico, CEO of Cinecittà Studios, said the election results are unlikely to affect Italy’s generous 40% tax cut for film and TV production — which has been increased by 30% during the pandemic — and that this is the key of the Italian film and TV industry driver and the magnet that attracts more and more international productions to the country.
The vote is likely to lead to a management change at state broadcaster RAI, but it’s too early to say what kind of new policies could be implemented at the giant broadcaster, which is expected to remain a major source of funding for the film and TV industry. manufacturing sector of the country. .