Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to diverge from Draghi on Covid-19, justice
- The changes could come as soon as Monday, when her government meets to reverse course on the management of the pandemic and on justice
- Meloni has given reassurances that her government will continue to support Ukraine with military supplies
The new administration has announced plans to suspend mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for health workers and that fines levelled against those who previously breached the rules will be frozen. The decision will allow unvaccinated doctors and nurses to go back to work.
Meloni’s government will also delay implementing some of the justice reforms approved under Draghi’s tenure, which are crucial to the disbursement of European Union recovery funds to Italy.
The cabinet is expected to meet at 12pm (11:00 GMT) Monday and will introduce changes to some of the reforms. That includes a norm that allows people jailed for serious and mafia-related crimes to be granted access to alternative detention, a reform that sought to ease the burden on Italy’s overcrowded jails.
While the new government remains committed to the reforms and deadlines needed to receive the next tranche of European Union aid, the changes point to the priorities of the new administration, which during the electoral campaign left foreign allies and investors guessing about how strong the break was going to be.
Bloomberg reported Sunday that Rome plans to finance slight tax cuts and new pension benefits by borrowing 21 billion euros (US$21 billion) more than planned, setting the deficit at 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product.
Meloni, who will be in Brussels for her first meetings with European Union heads on November 3, has given reassurances that her government will continue to support Ukraine with military supplies. Whether she’ll deliver on the promises will only become clear in coming weeks when the government signs the decrees needed to send the weapons.
While the military shipments provided by the government are not public, Repubblica reported on Sunday that Draghi transferred to Ukraine highly advanced and expensive technology including cannons, and that Meloni could face opposition within her government coalition on matching the same level of support.