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Meloni meets Salvini in first post-vote encounter

Collaboration and unity of intent says joint FdI-League note

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 28 - League leader Matteo Salvini on Wednesday met with Brothers of Italy (FdI) leader Giorgia Meloni in the FdI's offices at the Lower House where she is reportedly working on her agenda and government team after she won Sunday's general election at the helm of a centre-right bloc including the League and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI).
    After the meeting, a joint FdI and League statement said there had been "great collaboration and unity of intent" at the meeting, the first of its kind.
    "Both leaders expressed satisfaction for the trust given by the Italians to the coalition and reaffirmed the great sense of responsibility that this result entails.
    "Meloni and Salvini analysed the situation and priorities and urgencies on the government's and parliament's agenda, also in light of the complex situation that Italy is experiencing".
    It was the first public meeting between the two since Meloni's resounding success in the elections put her in pole position to be tapped as premier by President Sergio Mattarella.
    Salvini is facing some quit calls after the League performed much worse than its rightist partner but most supporters want him to stay on as League leader.
    The League got around 9% of Sunday's vote compared to 26% for FdI, and 8% for the other party in the bloc, three-time former premier and media magnate Berlusconi's FI.
    At the last Italian elections in 2018 FdI got around 4% while in 2019 the League surged to 34% in the European elections amid Salvini's popular anti-migrant policies as interior minister.
    Salvini is reportedly keen to get back to denying charity migrant rescue ships ports of call as Meloni's interior minister, but his position has been weakened by the League's relatively poor performance in the elections.
    Meloni's 'post-Fascist' party surged thanks to remaining in opposition over the last few years, especially to Mario Draghi's national-unity government, Italian pollsters say.
    It greatly outperformed the League even in the formerly secessionist party's northern heartlands on Sunday. (ANSA).


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