General

Italy’s new far-right government wins 2nd confidence vote

Italy's new far-right government led by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Wednesday won the second of two required confidence votes in parliament, confirming its solid majority in both chambers.

The vote in the Senate was 115 in favor of Meloni's coalition government and 79 against it, with five abstentions.

Earlier on Wednesday, during the parliamentary debate, the new Italian premier responded to critics who accused her policy guidelines – outlined in her first speech to the Lower House on Tuesday – of being too vague and missing key points.

Meloni confirmed a campaign pledge of her rightist coalition, announcing that one of the first moves on the economic front will be lifting the existing limit on cash payments – a measure introduced by previous governments as a deterrent for money laundering and fiscal evasion.

Amid the opposition's complaints that the move would only benefit illicit payments and fiscal frauds, Meloni insisted she saw "no correlation" between cash payments and the expansion of the underground economy.

The new premier also rejected criticism by the center-left opposition that in her previous speeches in support of Ukraine she failed to make any clear reference to peace.

Meloni insisted that the only way to reach a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine is to continue to support Kyiv in defending itself militarily.

"Peace can be achieved by supporting Ukraine. It is the only chance we have for the two sides to negotiate," she told Senators.

Meloni leads Italy's most right-wing government since World War II and former ties between Moscow and her key allies – Forza Italia's Silvio Berlusconi and the League's leader Matteo Salvini – have raised concerns over possible changes in Rome's foreign policy.

After an open clash with Meloni ahead of the formation of the new government, Berlusconi – who made his comeback to the Senate after nine years – sought to reassure Italian and international observers that his party will provide a solid support to Meloni's Cabinet, sticking to a firm pro-Ukraine and pro-NATO stance.

"In this situation we naturally stand with the West," the media mogul and former premier told Senators in his speech ahead of the confidence vote. "We must work for peace and we will do it in full accord with our Western allies."

Source: Anadolu Agency