Italian far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, whose party triumphed at last month’s general election, demanded a public explanation earlier on Friday after a French minister suggested that rights may be at risk under the country’s new government.
European Affairs Minister Laurence Boone told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that Paris will “pay close attention to the respect for values and the rule of law” once the new cabinet is sworn in.
“The EU has already demonstrated its vigilance towards other countries such as Hungary and Poland,” Boone added, citing the two Eurosceptic governments that have clashed with Brussels over civil rights.
Meloni, whose post-fascist Brothers of Italy party won the September 25 vote by a big margin, said that the comments appeared to be “an unacceptable threat of interference
against a sovereign member state of the European Union”.
“I trust that the French government will immediately deny the words”, Meloni said, adding that she hoped that “the left-wing” daily had in fact misinterpreted Boone’s words.
Meloni, a fierce defender of Catholic family values, is the leader of a right-wing coalition that activists fear might pose a threat to civil rights, from abortion to same-sex marriage.
Italy’s most far-right government since World War II is expected to take up office by the end of October, with the two newly formed houses of parliament set to convene no later than October 15th.