EU must start treating democracy seriously: Polish PM on Italian election

Leader of Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d'Italia) party Giorgia Meloni (L) and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photos: EPA/ETTORE FERRARI and PAP/Paweł Supernak

In the Sunday instalment of his podcast Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki congratulated Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the Fratelli d’Italia party on her party’s electoral victory in the most recent elections. He also pointed to the hypocrisy of her critics, who accuse Meloni of being a threat to democracy, while ignoring the choice made by the Italians at the polls.

“I am personally glad and I wholeheartedly congratulate Giorgia Meloni on her victory. It looks like the time of change is coming to Europe,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in his podcast published on Facebook on Sunday, in reference to the results of the parliamentary elections that took place in Italy last week.

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d that “If these sympathies and interests are aligned, that is a great configuration. If the sympathies aligned, but our interests were different, interests are what has the priority.”

“If, for example, tomorrow the new Italian government [...] announced that Europe should withdraw from the position of supporting Ukraine, I will be the first to protest such a position,” clarified the Polish Prime Minister, but added that “I know Ms Meloni’s view in the matter, I have spoken to her numerous times, and I know that in this case, we can count on co-operation. I believe that the number of areas of co-operation will increase, especially since Poland and Italy, although not neighbours in the geographical sense, are very close,” said Morawiecki, referring to the long-standing cultural and historical ties between the two countries.

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Prime Minister Morawiecki also addressed the controversy that surrounded the elections, with many politicians and media from outside of Italy hurling accusations of extremism against Meloni and Fratelli d’Italia.

“Italian elections would have been [considered] a regular act of democracy, they would have been because it turned out otherwise because for several weeks now in all of Europe there is an intensifying campaign proclaiming a supposed triumph of far-right forces, and some even label those forces as fascists,” said the Prime Minister, and adds that “this propaganda is so effective, it must have gotten even the head of the European Commission confused.” “Italian elections would have been [considered] a regular act of democracy. They would have been but it turned out otherwise, because for several weeks now in all of Europe there is an intensifying campaign proclaiming a supposed triumph of far-right forces, and some even label those forces as fascists,” said the Prime Minister, and added that “this propaganda is so effective, it must have gotten even the head of the European Commission confused.”

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Two days before the elections in Italy, the EC President was asked about the elections while attending a debate the Princeton University.

“If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools,” said von der Leyen. “My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together.”

As Mr Morawiecki said, the EC President spoke of “democracy, of diversity, of a diversity of legal and constitutional systems, but when it came to the practical assessment of this diversity, the European Commission will keep a close eye on the situation in Italy.” He said that von der Leyen’s words “sounded like a threat spoken with a smile, but a threat nonetheless.”

“An ultimatum to the Italians: either you vote the way we like, or we will force you to do it by force,” PM Morawiecki summarised the words of von der Leyen. As he assessed “until the European officials come to their senses and start treating democracy seriously, start to treat respect the choices made by the European nations, the future of Europe is in danger.”

As PM Morawiecki pointed out, not everyone on the is willing to sacrifice their principles in exchange for a temporary political gain and being petted on the head by Brussels.

“The accusations that the return of the right to power in Italy would spell the return of fascism cause a reaction of Giorgia Meloni’s political opponents. The former Prime Minister of Italy and an opponent to the right [...] Mateo Renzi said during an interview for CNN that accusations of fascism levelled against Meloni are fake news,” said Morawiecki.

“[Renzi] said that although he is [Meloni’s] political opponent, he does not wish to resort to lies to criticise her. He stood up in defence of the good name of his homeland, even if it somehow meant defending his political opponent,” stressed the Polish Prime Minister.

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