The emergence of the Swedish far-right as the second largest force and the imminent participation of the party with neo-Nazi origins in the next government in Stockholm, as well as the looming electoral victory of the neo-fascist giorgia meloni in Italy next Sunday, make for a bleak picture in a Europe facing one of the most difficult winters in recent decades. The strengthening of such formations in two important EU countries is sure to satisfy Russia, which positively views the dissolution tendencies within the Union.
Theoretically, neither the Swedish Democrats are in favor of the country’s exit from the EU, nor do the Brothers of Italy wish to break relations with Brussels. However, the questioning of fundamental values that make up the founding pillar of the Union, e.g. the humanitarian treatment and integration of immigrants or the rights of LGBTI people, undermines the cohesion between the 27 member countries and torpedoes any attempt to deepen the federation.
In Sweden, the bastion of tolerance and the welfare state, the Democrats (SD) defined the election agenda by centering it around crime and multiculturalism, making immigrants, who notably now make up a third of the population, scapegoats for all woes of the Swedish economy and society. The problem of integration is real, but the way SD puts it is xenophobic and simplistic.
After the huge migration wave from Syria in 2015, Sweden became the country with the highest proportion of asylum applications in proportion to its population. Thus, during the last three matches, SSD saw its percentage jump from single digit percentages to 20%. Although he has neo-Nazi roots, he has renounced his dark past, but many analysts believe this is a tactic to appear more electable in order to widen his voter pool.
Indeed, 12 days ago, one in five was not afraid to vote for it. “It is a dangerous formation for the foreign policy and security of the country. Just a few days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, their leader could not choose between the American president Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin”, complained pre-election officials of the social democrats, without to be heard.
Meloni, who leads in the latest opinion polls, also keeps a distance from the neo-fascist past. Her party’s emblem is similar to that of Benito Mussolini and her supporters sometimes give fascist salutes, even though she considers Italian fascism to belong in the closet of history. And yet the 90s are not far away, when in the middle of it he decided that “Mussolini was a good politician and that no one else like him came out in the last 50 years”. “Yes to the natural family, No to LGBTI lobbies. Yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology!”, she recently declared, summarizing her ultra-conservative agenda based on the tripartite of faith, nationalism and the institution of the family (Dio, Patria, Famiglia).
Her choice to stay out of the previous government of former banker Mario Draghi gave her the opportunity to criticize his government policies, while her current allies, Northern League leader Matteo Salvini and Forza Italia chief Silvio Berlusconi, were obliged to support the former prime minister, albeit reluctantly. However, in contrast to Salvini, who has openly opposed sanctions against Russia and is considered the most ardent supporter of Vladimir Putin in the country, Meloni appears European “law-abiding” after the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the same time in the Italian media In mass media and social media, the influence of Russian propaganda is evident: from the traditional anti-Americanism of Italian society to admiration for Putin as an authoritarian leader.
These deviations from Moscow within a future government in Rome undoubtedly satisfy Putin. “As his military falters after the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Russia’s strongman has stepped up the energy stranglehold on Western Europe, which is bracing for gas shortages to heat its homes and keep its industry and businesses running on The prospect of an escalating dispute over sanctions on a weathered eurozone economy is perhaps Russia’s ideal opportunity to ease sanctions and improve its joint prospects.
If I win, the joke is over for Europe,” Meloni said last week. “If he wins, it’s over for Italy,” retorted center-left opponent and former Prime Minister (2013-2014) Enrico Letta. Indeed, if the polls are confirmed, Europe will get another black man. sheep that will undermine the consensus in decision-making and indeed in an extremely difficult economic situation and Putin will secure a government official at the heart of the third largest economy in the euro zone Salvini, who in May (more than two months after the Russian invasion in Ukraine) planned to visit Moscow with expenses paid by the Russian government.