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Italy's far-right PM Meloni makes first Brussels trip

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Rome, Nov 04: Georgia Meloni, Italy's new far-right prime minister, took her first trip to meet with EU chiefs in Brussels on Thursday. Her appearance in the European Union's capital was being closely watched, as Meloni spent much time on the campaign trail vowing to put Italy's interestes ahead of those of the EU.

Italys far-right PM Meloni makes first Brussels trip

"The voice of Italy in Europe will be strong: we are ready to confront the big questions, starting with the energy crisis, working together for a solution to help families and businesses to halt speculation," she wrote on Twitter ahead of her arrival.

Italy begins negotiations on forming new governmentItaly begins negotiations on forming new government

The first person to greet Meloni was head of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola.

Before the prime minister's arrival, Metsola had tweeted pointedly that "more than ever s with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation — we need to stick together. We are stronger if we are together."

Meloni tones done anti-Europe rhetoric

Despite fears from Brussels, however, Meloni has taken a softer tone towards the EU since taking office in October.

Although she once called for Italy to abandon the euro currency and leave the "invasive" EU, she has recently made remarks trying to downplay her isolationist stance and distance herself from accusations of supporting fascism.

In her first speech in office, she reaffirmed Italy's commitment to Europe and to NATO. She has also not resisted the reforms requested by the EU in exchange for millions of euros in pandemic recovery funds.

Viktor Orban's man in BrusselsViktor Orban's man in Brussels

EU leaders have tread carefully with regards to Meloni, lest she be driven to closer ties towards other nationalist governments like Hungary and Poland.

Meloni also met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen then by European Council chief Charles Michel during her trip.

In a statement following the meetings with EU leaders, Meloni described the talks as "frank, positive."

Source: DW

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