Written by 10:48 am European Union

European Union chiefs congratulate Meloni on becoming Italy PM

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday congratulated far-right leader Giorgia Meloni on becoming Italian prime minister and said she looked forward to “constructive cooperation” with her government.

“Congratulations to Giorgia Meloni on her appointment as Italian Prime Minister, the first woman to hold the post,” von der Leyen tweeted.

“I count on and look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government on the challenges we face together.”

The head of the European Council, Charles Michel, also welcomed Meloni as Italy’s new premier, and tweeted: “Let’s work together for the benefit of Italy and the EU.”

The congratulations were echoed by the speaker of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, who tweeted in Italian that “Europe needs Italy”.

Meloni, the 45-year-old leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, was named Italian prime minister on Friday, taking the helm of the EU’s third-biggest economy.

She named a former European Parliament speaker, Antonio Tajani, as her foreign minister.

Meloni’s coalition wants to renegotiate Italy’s portion of an EU post-Covid recovery fund, arguing that the current energy crisis should be taken into account for their disbursement.

But the funds are tied to a series of reforms and analysts say Meloni has limited room for manoeuvre on that issue.

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