Election in Italy: bitter day for Europe

“This day is a bitter day for all who want a strong and democratic Europe. With their election victory, the neo-fascist Meloni and the legal alliance she leads are on the verge of power in Italy. The Democratic Party of Italy, with its leader Enrico Letta, comes in second. He and his party friends deserve thanks and recognition for a strong election campaign, with which they opposed the legal alliance and stood up for democracy, cohesion and Europe.

The fact that Italy, as a European founding country and the eighth largest industrial nation in the world, is now likely to be governed by an alliance of neo-fascists, right-wing nationalists and right-wing populists is a heavy burden for Europe’s cohesion and ability to act, especially now in this challenging time of crisis. At the same time, it is a historic political and moral failure of the European People’s Party under Manfred Weber to have promoted this right-wing advance in Italy. And the booming silence of Friedrich Merz and Markus Söder on the political coziness of their own European party towards a legal alliance led by neo-fascists speaks volumes.

However, paralysis and fatalism on the part of the advocates of a strong and solidary Europe would now be the wrong advice. Even a new right-wing government in Italy will ultimately not be measured by the past, but by its concrete actions in the coming weeks and months. It is all the more important now to continue to work towards European progress with a clear stance and at the same time clever political offers.

In this context, Germany is also called upon in a special way to develop practical and solidarity-based solutions for the current European crisis tasks, to build political bridges and to develop realistic future prospects for Europe. Chancellor Scholz’s speech in Prague contains a good framework for this, which has lost none of its topicality and relevance. Right now, more than ever, Europe needs the commitment of Europeans.”