© Reuters. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni attends the European Union summit in Brussels, Belgium, February 9, 2023. REUTERS/Johanna Geron

Par Crispian Balmer

ROME (Reuters) – The most important regions of Italy are organizing this weekend of elections that will give Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her right-wing allies their premier test of the ballot box since they came to power last year.

Latium, which is centered on the national capital Rome, and Lombardy, which shelters the financial capital Milan, represent a little more than a quarter of the national population and generate a third of the total gross domestic product (GDP). Italy.

“Il est fundamental que nous l’emportions dans les deux régions qui sont au cœur politique et économique du pays,” said Silvio Berlusconi, a former prime minister who does not support the Forza Italia party fait partie de la coalition au pouvoir de Meloni.

The polls indicate that the right will keep Lombardy easily during the vote on February 12 and 13, despite the many criticisms of the management of the COVID pandemic, which hit the region harder than almost everywhere else in Europe, raising questions about le système de santé locale.

The right seems also on the point of taking control of Lazio in the center-left, which is still under the shock of the defeat in the national elections last September and, like in the north, it has not been able to present a front uni contre le bloc conservateur.

Les divisions internes ont à severales reprises entravé la gauche ces dernières années et une défaite dans le Latium signifierait que la droite contrôlerait 15 des 20 régions italiennes, underlining its growing hegemony across the country.


Si la victoire seems assured, le vote pourrait encore destabiliser la coalition au pouvoir if the parti des Frères d’Italie de Meloni continues to cannibalise its partners.

Les Frères d’Italie won 26% of the votes in the general elections of 2022 against only 4.5% quatre ans plus tôt, winning over numerous disgruntled voters from the Ligue and Forza Italia, attracted by Meloni’s uncompromising nationalist policy.

Opinion polls indicate that support for the Brothers of Italy is around 30%, mainly due to the expenses of its allies. ‘elle a promue dans l’opposition.

Alors que Meloni has always prospered in his native region of Lacium, his party has made a bond unexpected in the north during the elections of 2022, remportant two times more votes than the Ligue in its traditional heartland of Lombardy.

If the support of the Ligue should fall back, the future of the leader of the party Matteo Salvini will probably be put under pressure and will raise doubts about his ability to pass the law to the party’s contested policy accordant une plus grande autonomie aux régions.

“Nous ne pouvons pas être pris en otage par les Frères d’Italie,” said Angelo Cocco, a European League parliamentarian.

“Nous avons besoin d’une Ligue forte qui ne laisse pas le projet de loi sur l’autonomie se retrouver dans les marais romains,” he declared to Reuters.

The voting offices are open Sunday and Monday, the vote will end at 14:00 GMT on Monday.