Before the latest Italian elections, Prime Minister Robert Golob, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed concern about the possibility of a successor to fascism coming to power in our neighbouring country. But on Tuesday’s working visit to neighbouring Italy, where Golob met the Italian Prime Minister, there was more stumbling and sniggering than concern.
“What if Giorgia Meloni and the Brothers of Italy party (Fratelli d’Italia), which is teeming with neo-fascists, wins the elections in Italy?” Marcel Štefančič asked the coalition trio – Robert Golob, Tanja Fajon and Luka Mesec – before the Italian elections. “It will not be good, this is our neighbouring country. Nobody wants fascism or nationalism…”, replied the current Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Tanja Fajon. “I will not joke around, because this is a serious matter. We are following it very closely, and also with concern …” added Prime Minister Golob.
At the time, it was not only Golob and Fajon who were concerned, but also prominent Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD) member and MEP Matjaž Nemec. When former Prime Minister Janez Janša wished the Italian right good luck before the elections, Nemec spoke up and added: “This tweet will go down in history when fascism knocks on Slovenia’s door again.” With this, he was also making it clear that the most likely new mandate holder in neighbouring Italy is a fascist. “In Italy, the democratic right won a majority in both houses of parliament yesterday. It is the duty of the government of the Republic of Slovenia to build on the good relations with our biggest neighbour. Without ideological delusions,” Janša stressed in his response to MEP Nemec. In democracies, it is the people who choose their representatives in elections – and not the leftists in Brussels.
Many people pointed out at the time, in light of the criticism, that Meloni, unlike many on the left, was capable of condemning all three totalitarian systems. In fact, in the European Parliament, she voted in favour of a resolution condemning fascism, Nazism and communism. Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, a European liberal from the same family of political parties as Slovenia’s ruling Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda), has also spoken out in favour of Meloni, describing the writings of journalists about her alleged fascist character as fake news.
It is also worth noting that, despite his great concern after the elections, Golob congratulated Meloni, threw out a few platitudes about the two friendly nations written by his PR people, and added that he was already looking forward to working with the future Italian Prime Minister. And the anti-fascist mood was no longer evident in the Foreign Minister, either. A recording of a recent meeting of Slovenia and Italy’s Prime Ministers showed that Golob did not look the least bit worried in the company of Meloni on his working visit to Rome. Indeed, there was some stumbling and lots of loud laughter as they walked along – and anyone watching would find it hard to believe that Golob was not in favour of Meloni’s election before the election itself. But the recordings that were made before the elections speak for themselves.