Italy's far-right Meloni angered by French 'threat'

Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni demanded an explanation on Friday after a French minister suggested rights may be at risk under the incoming government

October 07, 2022 08:25 pm | Updated 08:25 pm IST - Rome

Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni

Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni

Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, whose party won last month's general election, demanded an explanation on Friday after a French minister suggested rights may be at risk under the incoming government.

European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone told the Repubblica daily that Paris would "pay close attention to the respect for values and the rule of law" once the new government is sworn in.

"The EU has already demonstrated its vigilance towards other countries such as Hungary and Poland," Mr. Boone added in the interview published on Friday, citing the two Eurosceptic governments that have clashed with Brussels over civil rights.

Ms. Meloni, whose post-fascist Brothers of Italy party won the September 25 vote, said the comments appeared to be "an unacceptable threat of interference against a sovereign member state of the European Union".

"I trust that the French government will immediately deny the words", Ms. Meloni said, adding she hoped "the left-wing" daily had in fact misinterpreted Mr. Boone's meaning.

Ms. Meloni, a fierce defender of Catholic family values, won as part of a right-wing coalition that civil rights activists fear pose a threat to civil rights, from abortion to same-sex marriage.

Italy's most far-right government since World War II is expected to be in place by the end of October.

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