MEP Manuela Ripa (ÖDP) on the election victory of the right in Italy

Ripa: “Our European values are not negotiable!”

(Brussels/26.09.2022) Following the electoral victory of the right-wing electoral alliance in Italy, MEP Manuela Ripa of the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) expresses her concerns. Ripa points out the post-fascist roots of the “Brothers of Italy,” which with its leading candidate, Giorgia Meloni, is stronger in the alliance of three right-wing parties than the other two parties combined. Ripa, who herself has both German and Italian citizenship, sees the lack of critical examination of the country’s fascist past as one reason for Meloni’s election victory: “The years of dictatorship under Mussolini were never seriously dealt with. Mussolini is still an honorary citizen in many Italian communities. Within the ‘Brothers of Italy,’ the nostalgia and trivializers of Italian fascism are turned into main political messages, and these people will now lead the government.”

The partners of the “Brothers of Italy,” Matteo Salvini’s right-wing “Lega” and Silvio Berlusconi’s “Forza Italia,” are also problematic. “Both Salvini and Berlusconi are supporters of Vladimir Putin; Berlusconi even calls him his personal friend. It is to be feared that with the participation of these parties in government, the foreign policy course of the EU concerning the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine will be undermined. But we do not need a second Russian supporter in the EU next to Victor Orban,” said the ÖDP politician.

The MEP is also disappointed by the fact that climate and environmental protection played no role at all in the election campaign, although Italy is currently suffering as never before from the consequences of global warming. The ecologically oriented alliance “Verdi + Sinistra” will – if at all – only barely make it into parliament. Manuela Ripa calls on the new government to use the funds from the EU’s Corona Reconstruction Fund to make Italy a pioneer in renewable energies. Because of its topography and climate, it is predestined for both solar and wind energy. In addition, the country is a very important corridor for supplying Europe with renewable energy from North Africa. The path toward decarbonization is also an opportunity for the Italian economy, she says. On the other hand, she finds the statements of leading politicians of the right-wing alliance to consider the reintroduction of nuclear power counterproductive. “However, this shows a failure of the EU. Due to labeling recently nuclear power as sustainable as part of the taxonomy, politicians in several EU countries are now invoking this decision to bring nuclear power again as an important part of energy policy,” the MEP said.

Manuela Ripa is also concerned about the statements of representatives of the Right Alliance on the issue of refugees. “Especially Salvini from the Lega but also Meloni herself, have repeatedly emerged as agitators who do not care about human rights. Especially in times of crisis like these, migrants are often used as scapegoats by right-wing parties. We must not allow this to happen. I call on the future Italian government to commit to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and to treat refugees humanely and with dignity. Our European values are not negotiable!”, the ÖDP politician concluded.