Giorgia Meloni
Giorgia Meloni 2018.jpg
President of Brothers of Italy
Assumed office
8 March 2014
Preceded byIgnazio La Russa
Minister of Youth
In office
8 May 2008 – 16 November 2011
Prime MinisterSilvio Berlusconi
Preceded byGiovanna Melandri
Succeeded byAndrea Riccardi
Member of the Chamber of Deputies
Assumed office
21 April 2006
ConstituencyLazio 1 (2006–2008)
Lazio 2 (2008–2013)
Lombardy 3 (2013–2018)
Latina (2018–present)
Personal details
Born (1977-01-15) 15 January 1977 (age 43)
Rome, Italy
Political partyBrothers of Italy (2012–present)
Other political
Social Movement (1992–1995)
National Alliance (1995–2009)
People of Freedom (2009–2012)
Domestic partnerAndrea Giambruno

Giorgia Meloni (born 15 January 1977) is an Italian journalist and politician who leads Brothers of Italy, a national conservative party in Italy. Meloni served also as Minister of Youth in Silvio Berlusconi's fourth government and president of Young Italy, the youth section of The People of Freedom.

She is the co-founder of the right-wing party Brothers of Italy, along with Guido Crosetto and Ignazio La Russa, and on 8 March 2014, she was elected president of the party. She has been a member of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy since 2006.[1]

Early life

Giorgia Meloni was born in Rome in 1977. Her father came from Sardinia and her mother came from Sicily;[2] her father, a tax advisor, left his family when Giorgia Meloni was eleven years old. She grew up in the district of Garbatella.

In 1992, at 15 years old, she joined the Youth Front, the youth-wing of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI). In these years she founded the student coordination Gli Antenati (The Ancestors), which took part in the protest against the public education reform promoted by minister Rosa Russo Iervolino. In 1996 she became the national leader of Student Action, the student movement of National Alliance, the right-wing heir of the MSI, representing this movement in the Student Associations Forum established by the Italian Ministry of Education. In the same year, she earned a diploma in the Amerigo Vespucci Institute.[3]

During these years she also worked as a nanny, waitress and bartender at the Piper Club, one of the most famous night clubs in Rome.[4][5]

She obtained the high school diploma in languages at the Institute "Amerigo Vespucci" of Rome, with the final mark of 60/60.

In 1998, after winning the primary election, she was elected as a member of the Province of Rome, holding this position until 2002. In 2000 she was elected national director and in 2004 was the first woman president of Youth Action, the party's youth wing. During this period she was the leader of the far-right "Sons of Italy" faction rooted in the legacy of Italy's fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

Political career

Minister of Youth

Portrait of Giorgia Meloni for the Chamber of Deputies (2006)

In the 2006 general election Meloni was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies; subsequently she became the youngest ever Vice President of the Chamber. In the same year she started to work as a journalist.[6]

In 2008 she was appointed Minister of Youth Policies in the fourth cabinet led by the media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, a position she held until 16 November 2011 when the former was forced to resign as Prime Minister amid a financial crisis and public protests. She was the youngest-ever minister in the history of the Italian Republic.[7] In August 2008 Meloni invited Italian athletes to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in disagreement with the Chinese policy implemented towards Tibet; however, this statement was criticised by Berlusconi and Foreign Affairs Minister Franco Frattini.[8]

In 2009 her party merged with Forza Italia into The People of Freedom and she took over the presidency of the united party's youth section, called Young Italy.[7] In the same year she voted for the decree law against euthanasia.[9]

In November 2010, on behalf of the ministry, she presented a 300 million euro package called the "Right to the Future", aimed at investing in young people and containing five initiatives, including incentives for new entrepreneurs, bonuses in favour of temporary workers and loans for deserving students.

In November 2012 she announced her bid to contest the leadership of the People of Freedom party against Angelino Alfano, in opposition to the party's support of the Monti Cabinet. After the cancellation of the primaries, she teamed up with fellow politicians Ignazio La Russa and Guido Crosetto to set out an anti-Monti policy, asking for renewal within the party and being also critical of the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi.[10][11]

Leader of Brothers of Italy

Giorgia Meloni with Guido Crosetto during an FdI rally in 2014

In December 2012, Meloni, La Russa and Crosetto founded a new political movement, Brothers of Italy (FdI), whose name comes from the words of the Italian National Anthem.[12][13] At the February 2013 general election, she stood as part of Berlusconi's Centre-right coalition and received 2.0% of the vote and 9 seats.[14] Meloni was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies for Lombardy and was later appointed the party's leader in the house, a position that she would hold until 2014, when she resigned to dedicate herself to the party. She was succeeded by Fabio Rampelli.[15]

In March 2014 she became president of Brothers of Italy and in April she was nominated for the 2014 European election as the leader of the Brothers of Italy in all the five constituencies, but her party obtained only 3.7% of the votes, not exceeding the threshold of 4% and therefore she did not become an MEP, despite receiving 348,700 votes.[16]

As party leader she decided to form the alliance with the Lega Nord of Matteo Salvini, launching several political campaigns with him against the centre-left government of Matteo Renzi, placing FdI in Eurosceptic and populist positions.[17]

On 4 November 2015 she founded the Our Land – Italians with Giorgia Meloni, a conservative political committee in support of her campaigns.[18] Our Land was a parallel organisation to FdI and aimed at enlarging FdI's popular base.[19][20]

On 30 January 2016 she participated in the Family Day, an anti-LGBT rights demonstration, declaring herself against the Cirinnà law, which recognised same-sex unions in Italy. At the same Family Day, Meloni announced that she was pregnant; her daughter Ginevra was born on 16 September.[21]

In the 2016 municipal election in Rome, Meloni ran for mayor with the support of Us with Salvini, but in opposition to the candidate supported by Berlusconi's Forza Italia. Meloni won 20.6% of the vote, almost twice that of FI's candidate, but did not qualify for the run-off, while the FdI obtained a convincing 12.3%.[22]

Meloni with Matteo Salvini and Silvio Berlusconi in 2018

During the December 2016 constitutional referendum on the reform promoted by Renzi's government, Meloni founded the "No, Thanks" committee and participated in numerous television debates, including one against Prime Minister Renzi. When "No" won with almost 60% of the votes, Meloni called for snap elections and, when Renzi resigned, she withheld confidence from the next government led by Paolo Gentiloni.[23][24]

On the 2 and 3 December 2017 in Trieste, the congress of Brothers of Italy saw the re-election of Meloni as president of the party, as well as a renewal of the party logo and the joining of Daniela Santanchè, a long-time right-wing politician.[25]

In the 2018 general election, Brothers of Italy stood as part of the centre-right coalition, with Berlusconi's Forza Italia, Salvini's League and Raffaele Fitto's Us with Italy. Meloni's party obtained 4.4% of the vote and more than three times the seats won in 2013. She was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the single-member constituency of Latina with 41% of the vote.[26] The centre-right alliance, in which the League emerged as the main political force, won a plurality of seats in the Chamber of Deputies; however, no political group or party won an outright majority, resulting in a hung parliament.[27][28]

In October 2019, her speech at a right-wing rally in Rome, where she spoke against same-sex parenting, went viral on Italian social media platforms and became the object of many parodies.[29] She is against any laws that recognise gay civil partnerships or marriages and she is against an anti-homophobia law, declaring that in Italy there is not homophobia.[30]

Personal life

Meloni has one daughter with partner Andrea Giambruno.[31][32] She is a putative supporter of traditional families and adopts Catholic stances. She is not married to her partner.[33]

Electoral history

Election House Constituency Party Votes Result
2006 Chamber of Deputies Lazio 1 AN [a] ☑Y Elected
2008 Chamber of Deputies Lazio 2 PdL [a] ☑Y Elected
2013 Chamber of Deputies Lombardy 3 FdI [a] ☑Y Elected
2018 Chamber of Deputies Lazio 2 – Latina FdI 70,268 ☑Y Elected
  1. ^ a b c Elected in a closed list proportional representation system.

First-past-the-post elections

2018 general election (C): Latina
Candidate Coalition Votes %
Giorgia Meloni Centre-right coalition 70,268 41.0
Leone Martellucci Five Star Movement 62,563 36.5
Federico Fauttilli Centre-left coalition 26,293 15.3
Others 12,269 7.2
Total 171,393 100.0