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Voting begins in Italy for high-profile elections

Italy held its first autumn elections in more than 100 years on Sunday, with far-right parties leading the race to form the next government in Rome.

Negotiating a price cap on Russia’s imported gas with other EU nations will be a big challenge facing Rome’s new government, according to the latest information, as high energy prices remain a top voter concern. It will be one of the first challenges. Poll available.

However, less than 65% of the 51 million eligible voters who could turn to vote are expected to vote.

Ahead of the vote, forecasters had suggested the figure could fall below the current record low of 73% seen in the 2018 general election. Each has been headed by someone who has not run for office since that last election.

By noon on Sunday, Interior Ministry figures, based on reports from 95% of Italian towns, showed voter turnout had reached 19.1%. This was slightly below his 19.5% reported at the same time during the 2018 election.

While many Italians remain angered by the sudden collapse of Mario Draghi’s unity government this summer, the right-wing coalition is on its way to victory, according to the latest polling intentions data released two weeks ago. I’m in.

Although Draghi is not running for election, a small liberal coalition, including former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and MEP Carlo Calenda, is campaigning for his policy proposals, the so-called Draghi Agenda, in which Mr. If he shows up, he vows to restore him as Prime Minister…as a victory. According to the latest available data, the coalition polls less than 10%.

Voting closes at 11:00 pm local time when the first exit poll is published.

A possible precursor to the dispute between Rome’s new government and the European Commission is that President Ursula von der Leyen, on the final day of her campaign, appears to have intervened in the Italian elections, threatening right-wing leadership. It made people angry.

“Democracy is a constant work in progress. We are never finished, we are never safe,” she said Thursday in a speech at Princeton University. I talked about Hungary and Poland, if things go wrong, we have the tools.”

Comments that appear to refer to sanctions that Brussels may impose for violations of the rule of law have angered Italian politicians, some of whom unfairly interfered in elections by committee chairmen. criticized.

But Matteo Salvini, leader of the Right-wing League, said von der Leyen was “threatening a sovereign state on the eve of elections”, but the Italian brother who could become Italy’s first female prime minister leader Giorgia Meloni measured more.

“I don’t think she specifically mentioned Italy, otherwise it would be unprecedented interference,” Meloni said in his final interview on Friday night before the so-called electoral silence took effect.

Meloni, 45, said to the international community that she was well-positioned to rule Italy despite the right-wing coalition’s unstable stance on the EU and her closeness to her partner’s Russian president. I have tried to reassure

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joining FT journalists and special guests for a subscriber-only webinar on September 27 to discuss the outcome of Italy’s watershed elections

As the campaign drew to a close, former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi faced backlash after saying Vladimir Putin “just wanted to be replaced.” [Ukraine’s president Volodymyr] Zelensky with a government made up of decent people”, but he met “unexpected resistance” on the ground.

In response to Berlusconi’s remarks, Democratic Party Secretary Enrico Letta said, “If the right wins, Putin will be the first to celebrate.”

But Meloni accused Letta and her other opponents of ignoring national interests and spooking markets and international investors with unsettling statements.

Instead of heading to Berlin to discuss the petrol price cap, Letta went to see Scholz to gain his support ahead of the vote. . . that means negotiating the interests of the country for your personal benefit,” she said in a television interview Friday night.

The right has promised broad tax cuts, cuts in labor costs, and lowering the country’s retirement age as a way to encourage the hiring of young workers. It also promises to increase the minimum pension to at least €1,000 per month.

A non-coalition center-left party has also pledged to introduce a nationwide minimum wage and protect generous subsidies for job seekers. In addition, they proposed broad civil rights extensions, including for the second generation of Italy.

The sustainability of Italy’s long-term public debt, the second largest in the euro zone after Greece, has been questioned by investors and EU officials. Experts warn Italy’s new government must act carefully to ensure its policies are financially sustainable.

But many Italians, especially young voters, are skeptical of the credibility of such proposals. Results are expected on Monday.

https://www.ft.com/content/22627c2f-5bf6-454d-9e8a-97b7ac1ece64 Voting begins in Italy for high-profile elections

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