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European Elections: What to expect
TITLE PLACEHOLDER | Europe In :60

European Elections: What to expect

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden and co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, shares his perspective on European politics from Stockholm, Sweden.

What are the prospects for the European elections later this week?

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Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.

REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Meloni to visit the White House

An invitation to the White House is no small feat, and the latest world leader to get one from President Joe Biden is indeed an interesting one: Italian PM Giorgia Meloni.

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Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics
Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Boris Johnson remains a dangerous force in UK politics

Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics, this week from the Oslo airport.

Is the political career of Boris Johnson over?

Seems to be the case but you can never be entirely certain, in his particular case. I think he has the ambition to come back. And clearly, he's going to remain a dangerous, in my opinion, a very disruptive force inside the Conservative Party. If they lose the election next year, which is not unlikely, mildly speaking, there might be a civil war and Boris Johnson might be one of the leaders of that particular civil war inside the Conservative Party. But remains to be seen.

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attends a rally ahead of a regional election in Emilia-Romagna.

REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi dies at 86

On Monday, Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's longest-serving prime minister, died at age 86. Il Cavaliere (The Knight) finally succumbed to the chronic leukemia that kept him out of the limelight for the past few months.

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Italian PM Giorgia Meloni during a press conference in Rome.

LaPresse / Roberto Monaldo/Sipa via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Meloni’s migrant moves, a cartel for rainforests, Haiti’s hope for fuel

Meloni draws a line on migrants

Since becoming Italy’s prime minister two weeks ago, Giorgia Meloni has pushed back against media attempts to portray her as a far-right nationalist euro-skeptic troublemaker. Aware that Italy needs cash from the EU, she’s presented her government as ready to negotiate with Brussels on outstanding issues in good faith. She’s made clear her support for Ukraine and NATO. Yet, she does stand ready to strike a harder line on migration policy as asylum-seekers continue to arrive by boat. (Italy has already received 85,000 migrants from across the Mediterranean this year.) On Sunday, two rescue ships that made port in Sicily were told that children and people with medical problems were allowed off the ships, but able-bodied men were not considered “vulnerable” and must remain on board. The ships were then ordered to leave, but their captains refused to budge. Rights groups and Italian opposition politicians say Italy’s decision violates EU law and the Geneva Convention. Meloni knows that many Italians expect a harder line on asylum policy and that greenlighting the entry of all migrants encourages more people to take the risky journey across the Med. This standoff is just the beginning of the Meloni government’s battle with EU officials and aid groups over an issue that provokes strong emotions on both sides.

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Brothers of Italy party leader Giorgia Meloni attends the fourth voting session to elect the new parliament speaker in Rome.

REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

What We’re Watching: Italy’s new leadership questions, Russia’s martial law, US midterm messaging

Meloni faces uphill battle in Italy

How long can any Italian government last? That’s a good question in a country that has had 67 governments in the past 76 years. Now Giorgia Meloni, head of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, is set to take over as prime minister, and the going won’t be easy. The economy is hurtling towards recession, says the IMF, while consumer prices are soaring, particularly for energy – in part due to the war in Ukraine. But while she has pledged continued support for Ukraine, Meloni’s coalition partner Silvio Berlusconi, head of Forza Italia, has signaled a different view. The aging former prime minister and media mogul is picking fights over ministerial posts, belittling Meloni publicly, and in a leaked recording, talked about recently exchanging liquor with Vladimir Putin while questioning Italy’s support for Kyiv. Berlusconi is a minor partner compared to the more powerful Matteo Salvini and his rightist League Party, but Meloni has also clashed with Salvini on energy matters. So we’ll be watching to see how warm and cozy this coalition stays as Meloni heads into a winter of troubles.

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Giorgia Meloni, leader of Italian far-right party Brothers of Italy, gestures during a campaign rally in Turin.

Nicolò Campo/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

How far to the right is Italy’s soon-to-be prime minister?

Until recently, Giorgia Meloni was on the fringes of Italian politics. Now the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy Party is likely to become the country’s first female prime minister when Italians head to the polls on Sept. 25.

A self-styled anti-globalist, Meloni has for the most part embraced her far-right reputation within an Italian electorate that relishes anti-establishment candidates. But in an age when the term ‘far-right’ has become a catchall, what does Meloni really stand for and what will her election mean for Italy’s politics and economy?

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From left to right, Lega leader Matteo Salvini, Brothers leader Giorgia Meloni, and former Italian PM and Forza Italia leader Silvio Berlusconi.

REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

How will the far right run Italy?

On Sept. 25, Italians head to the polls to vote in a snap parliamentary election triggered by the collapse of PM Mario Draghi's fragile coalition government in late July. Political instability and short-lived governments are nothing new in Italy, which has churned through 18 of them in the past 34 years. Now, though, an alliance of far-right parties is widely favored to win power for the first time since the end of World War II in a country with bitter memories of fascist rule. What will that government look like, and what can we expect from it? We asked Eurasia Group analyst Federico Santi.

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