The new Italian far-right government has refused to let 35 asylum seekers disembark from a rescue boat run by the German organization, SOS Humanity. The government used its new immigration policy, which is aimed at stopping the arrival of asylum seekers from North Africa. The Italian government also prevented 215 people from another refugee rescue ship, called the Geo Barents, to disembark. It further refused permission to dock to the Ocean Viking, a ship rescuing 234 refugees. In response to this, the French government has suspended a plan to take in 3,500 refugees currently in Italy. As the tension between Italy and France is growing over the issue, at the end of November the European Interior Ministers supported a plan to better coordinate the arrival of immigrants in Europe.
Italy’s new ruling coalition is the first far-right-led one since the World War II’s end. Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), a party with neo-fascist origins, is the coalition’s dominant party. The government is expected to deal with major crisis following the soaring energy prices, increased cost of living and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Although this government will feature Italy’s first ever woman Prime Minister, only 25 per cent of Giorgia Meloni’s cabinet ministers are women – as compared to the two previous governments, which were comprised of 30 and 50 per cent women, respectively.
The coalition that consists of two far-right political parties, Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and Matteo Salvini’s Lega (League), as well as former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia, have won 44 per cent of the vote in the snap general election held on 25 September. Although Fratelli d’Italia was the top vote-getter, the failure of the fragmented left to form a coalition was a key factor that led to the (far-)right’s victory. Fratelli d’Italia was founded after World War II by Mussolini supporters, and while Meloni has stated that the party doesn’t have any connection with the fascist rhetoric anymore, critics worry that the party still includes fascist supporters. Meloni has particularly promised to defend “traditional family” and has targeted the “LGBT lobby,” immigrants and what she called an “Islamist violence” and “bureaucrats of Brussels.” The voter turnout was 64 per cent (nine points lower than the 2018 election), Italy’s lowest ever turnout for a general election.