May. 07, 2024 |

A destra. Journalists at Rai, Italy’s public broadcaster, went on strike this week over the “suffocating control” they say the country’s populist-right government is now exercising over the network.

Recently, the network had canceled a scheduled monologue by the author Antonio Scurati, just a few hours before he was to go on the air for the national holiday commemorating Italy’s liberation from Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party during World War II.

According to the Rai journalists’ union, managers and on-air talent at the network had meanwhile been pushed out of jobs for criticism of the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), the party leading the country’s ruling coalition and a political descendant of Mussolini’s Fascists.

Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister and Fratelli d’Italia’s leader, responded by publishing the monologue on her Facebook page—defying the accusation that her government was censoring Scurati and dismissing the opposition as “crying at the regime.”

In July 2022, two months before Meloni won Italy’s general elections, Dario Cristiani explored what a Fratelli d’Itali government would mean—for the country and for Europe. While Meloni’s party would be unlikely to have much of an impact on the policies of the European Union, Cristiani says, it would be a matter of time before her ideas of “order and tradition” took shape in Italian public life.