Italy’s new far-right PM heads to Brussels to renew bonds with EU leaders

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at Chigi Palace Premier's office, in Rome, October 23, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at Chigi Palace Premier's office, in Rome, October 23, 2022 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME — Italy’s new far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will meet with European Union chiefs in Brussels for the first time since her election, with the energy crisis expected to dominate the agenda.

Nationalist Meloni has vowed to put Italy’s interests first, and the trip will be closely watched amid fears of turbulent relations ahead between the populist government in Rome and the bloc’s powerhouses.

“Brussels should not do what Rome can do best,” Meloni was quoted as saying in a book to be published Friday, slamming “a Europe that is invasive in small things and absent in big matters.”

In her first international trip since taking office, Meloni is to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council chief Charles Michel and European Parliament speaker Roberta Metsola.

It will be the first face-to-face encounter since von der Leyen angered Italy’s right-wing parties ahead of the September general election by warning of consequences should the country veer away from democratic principles.

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