Who is Giorgia Meloni? Italian PM sets out to purge state broadcaster of ‘left-wing bias’
Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni has been accused by critics of “purging” the country’s state broadcaster of “left-wing bias”, after the sudden exit of one of Italy’s most popular chatshow hosts.
Fabio Fazio, who attracted huge audiences on the RAI network for his show which featured guests such as the Pope and Barack Obama, has become a hate figure for the right, for defending migrants’ rights and his perceived progressive stance.
Fazio, 58, left the broadcaster this week as the Italian prime minister and her allies introduced new senior executives to combat what they claim is bias at the broadcaster’s three television channels, according to The Times.
In 2017, Meloni called on Italians to “rebel” and boycott Fazio’s show, saying: “Every week, he explains to us how the world should work.”
Meloni’s efforts to take control of the network come alongside a movement by her party, the Brothers of Italy, to instill the country with nationalism and combat what it perceives as left-wing bias cultural bias.
But who is Ms Meloni and what does the Brothers of Italy party stand for?
Who is Giorgia Meloni?
Giorgia Meloni, 46, was born on January 15, 1997, in Rome, Italy. She grew up in Garbatella, which is a working-class and traditionally left-wing neighbourhood of Rome. Her father, who was left-wing, abandoned the family when she was young.
In 1992, at the age of 15, she joined her local branch of the far-right student movement, Youth Front.
This group was a youth wing of the Italian Social Movement (MSI), which was established by Giorgio Almirante, a minister in Benito Mussolini’s government.
In 2004, Meloni was elected president of the youth wing of National Alliance and, in 2008, she was elected to parliament. At 31 years old, she was Italy’s youngest-ever minister.
Meloni has been the leader of the Brothers of Italy party since 2014, two years after she co-founded it. She became Italy’s first woman prime minister in October 2022 when her Brothers of Italy party won enough seats to form a government.
The politician outlined her political beliefs in a speech earlier this year, in which she said: “Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology.
“No to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration, yes to work for our people.”
The political leader gained widespread attention in 2019 for a speech in which she rallied against left-wing ideals that want people to be “codes”.
In her speech, she said: “I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, I’m Christian! You won’t take that away from me!”
She also said she would defend, “God, the fatherland, and the family” from left-wing politicians.
In 2016, Meloni and her partner, journalist Andrea Giambruno, had a baby daughter named Ginevra.
What is the Brothers of Italy party?
The Brothers of Italy party says it aims to implement policies based on “principles of popular sovereignty, freedom, democracy, justice, social solidarity, merit, and fiscal equity, is inspired by a spiritual vision of life and values ââof the national, liberal, and popular tradition, and participates in the construction of the Europe of Peoples.”
The far-right political party is rooted in the neofascist Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI), which was formed by former members of Mussolini’s regime, and its logo features the MSI’s Italian flag-coloured flame.
Meloni co-founded Brothers of Italy in 2012 before becoming its president in 2014. The party won just four per cent of the vote in the 2018 general election, rising to 26 per cent in last year’s election.
The Brothers of Italy party is the country’s most right-wing government since World War II, which has sparked concern across Europe.
Meloni’s party leads a coalition government alongside League and Forza Italia, and has control of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.