Giorgia Meloni, leader of the right-wing Brothers of Italy party, has called on Enrico Letta, the general secretary of the left-wing Italian Democratic Party, to apologize to Hungary after his derogatory description of Poland and Hungary as second-class European states.
Enrico Letta’s insulting remarks were made on Sunday at an economic forum in Cernobbio, where the politician said that with the left, Italy would remain in Europe’s top division alongside France and Germany, while a possible electoral victory for the right would take the country into Serie B (a reference to the football’s second division), alongside the likes of Poland and Hungary.
Italy holds early elections on September 25, with polls showing the right-wing coalition, consisting of Brothers of Italy, Lega, and Forza Italia, as the biggest favorite. Meloni’s party is also an important Fidesz ally, which is a major irritant for the European left.
The secretary general of the Democratic Party repeated his comments on Hungary on Tuesday at the party’s campaign event, where he said that Italy cannot afford to follow the path of Hungary and Poland. Letta added that while he had great respect and friendship for Hungarians and Poles, he and his party would say no to Matteo Salvini, who held up the Orban government’s family policy as an example.
Reacting to Letta’s words, Meloni said that the left-wing politician had now shown that he imagined Europe as a privileged club.
Meloni stressed that Letta should apologize, adding that the Italian left’s program during the campaign was about nothing but attacking her and the right.
Opinion polls put the Brothers of Italy in first place in terms of electoral chances, with support at close to 25 percent. This means that Meloni could easily be Italy’s next president, as the other two parties in the right-wing coalition have agreed that the party with the most votes will see their candidate become prime minister. Together, the parties in the coalition stand at 46-47 percent according to the polls, which could lead to a two-third majority.
Reflecting on the polls, Meloni told RAI1 public television that if voters back her party as much as predictions suggest, she will be leading the country.
Featured photo: MTI/Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda/Szecsõdi Balázs