Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

NNA – Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni said the European elections had consolidated the solidity of her government after her Brothers of Italy (FdI) party came first in Italy with almost 29% of the vote.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;Italy can present itself at the G7 and in Europe with the strongest government of all,quot; said Meloni, who will chair the 2024 G7 summit in Puglia this week with Italy holding the duty presidency of the group of most advanced economies.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;It is a source of satisfaction and a great responsibility too.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;In our case, they saw us coming, but they still couldn#39;t stop us,quot; she added.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; FdI#39;s share of the vote was even better than the 26% it won in the 2022 general election that thrust her to power.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;It#39;s an even more beautiful night than two years ago,quot; Meloni said in an address early on Monday after the first projections.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Within the ruling centre-right alliance, the projections put Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani#39;s Forza Italia (FI) and Noi Moderati on 9.2%, ahead of Transport Minister Matteo Salvini#39;s League on 8.5%.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; It was the first nationwide vote since the death last year of FI#39;s founder, ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Salvini, who, like Tajani, is also deputy premier, said the League#39;s showing in the vote had been much better than expected, despite it being down slightly on the 8.8% it won in the 2022 general election and even though the party was overtaken by FI.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Salvini also expressed bitterness that League founder and former leader Umberto Bossi had reportedly said he would not be voting for it, instead opting for a former Leaguer now in FI.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;For the past year everyone had been giving us up for dead, but we are alive and kicking,quot; Salvini said at the party headquarters in Milan.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;We are alive, although certainly with some oddities, with the former party secretary saying the day before the vote that he would vote for another party.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;#39;I thank those who have never betrayed (us), I do not like those who run away and change colours, according to convenience.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;The League was founded 40 years ago and will still be here in 40 years time.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;I don#39;t want to hurt anyone and I even named my book after Bossi, but I definitely will have to listen to what the militants say (about it).nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;Our political movement is growing despite the fact that its founder announced that he was voting for another party, a curious thing.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; #39;It#39;s not an act of disrespect to the incumbent secretary, but to an entire communityquot;.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Salvini agreed with Meloni that the elections had quot;strengthenedquot; the government, stressing the balance of power within it had not changed.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;What I hope can change is European politics,quot; he added. quot;I hope to see a (ruling) centre right in Europe too.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;I#39;ll be in Brussels on Wednesday to work on this,quot; he said, referring to a meeting with Marine Le Pen, whose National Rally (RN) party triumphed in France and is the League#39;s ally at the EU level in the ID group.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Tajani expressed satisfaction after his FI party improved after getting just over 8% in the 2022 general election, adding that it was aiming to reach the 20% mark at the next one.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;We are close to the target we had set,quot; Tajani, who has spoken of reaching double figures, said at the party headquarters, dedicating the showing to Berlusconi.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;In the (next) general elections we aim to reach 20%.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;It#39;s an extraordinary result, Forza Italia is growing compared to the last election.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;It is a a victory that we dedicate to Premier Silvio Berlusconi, to all those who have never stopped believing in our colours.nbsp;
nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; quot;As of tonight, the centre right and the EPP (European People#39;s Party) are strongerquot;.–ANSAnbsp;

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