Meloni defends policy plans ahead of 2nd confidence vote

ROMAN — Italy’s new Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni defended her policy on Wednesday ahead of a second and final vote of confidence in Parliament before the new government led by her far-right party can embark. work.

In a broad response to parliamentary questions that lasted about an hour, Meloni dismissed opposition criticism that her support for Ukraine offered nothing to do with peace and that her economic policies would encourage tax evasion and jeopardize the EU’s substantial pandemic recovery funds. .

On the economic front, Meloni said she would go ahead with her plan to lift limits on cash transactions that previous governments had enacted as a measure to combat tax evasion, which Meloni said was ineffective. fruit. And she said reallocating some EU pandemic recovery funds was necessary because projects were decided before the war in Ukraine increased the cost of energy and raw materials.

Meloni easily won the first of two confidence votes in the lower house on Tuesday, and faces a second vote in the Senate, where she also holds a solid majority. Votes are required by the Italian constitution for new governments.

Meloni was sworn in on Saturday as Italy’s first female prime minister after her far-right Brotherhood of Italy party won the most votes in last month’s parliamentary elections with 26 percent of the vote. She runs alongside Anti-Migrant League leader Matteo Salvini and conservative former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Meloni also responded to critics that her speech to both houses of Congress did not include the word peace.

“If someone says this means I like war, no. But we need to understand how a person arrives at peace. … You don’t make peace waving a rainbow flag during a protest. It’s very difficult to achieve peace that way,” Meloni told lawmakers in the Senate.

She reiterated her determination to support Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression, likening it to her support for the head of a justifiable defense against home intruders. And she says supporting Ukraine is also important for Italy’s international legitimacy.

“Do you think Italy’s position will determine the outcome of the war?” Meloni asked, noting that Britain is supplying more weapons than all the EU countries combined. “What will change is not the outcome of the war in Ukraine, what will change is the approach of others towards us, what will change is our credibility, at the defense level, national and commercial interests.”

Meloni ended with a call for the opposition not to obstruct her government for ideological reasons but to vote on the content of policies.

“Don’t continue to criticize, I didn’t expect it, it would be a mistake. I believe in the value of opposition, but what I’m asking is that we talk about merit, not create ideological debates,” Meloni said.


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