Analysis. There’s nothing pointing to illicit activities in the investigation published recently in the Italian press. But her reactions point to a kind of siege mentality on the part of the prime minister.

Meloni says her family’s business affairs should be off limits

There is nothing illicit or that points to criminality, but the investigation by Domani into the affairs of the Meloni family, her mother Anna Paratore, her father Francesco and her two half-sisters, is likely to deal a blow to the premier’s image. For two reasons.

The first has to do with the narrative that Giorgia Meloni has always told about herself, and which is solemnly featured in the memoir she published two years ago. Meloni has always claimed that she cut all ties with her father. The story is now well known: supposedly, her father (who, not coincidentally, had leftist sympathies) leaving the marriage had led her to support the right and defend the bulwark of the traditional family.

According to the data revealed in the investigation, however, it seems that the Meloni family continued to be on speaking terms at least until 2004, precisely when Giorgia began her political rise: during those years, she first became a provincial councilor in Rome and then president of Youth Action, the youth organization of the National Alliance. The reasons why the former Meloni spouses continued to be in contact seem to have been related to their joint business dealings: real estate investments between Spain (Mr. Meloni had moved to the Canary Islands) and Italy.

What’s more, the current prime minister’s mother, credited in the official narrative as a “writer of romance novels,” had relationships and interests in real estate that also involved dealings with offshore companies.

“I don’t know about my father’s activities, and I couldn’t know about them, because, as is known, I didn’t have any personal relationship with him,” Meloni claimed, responding to questions from the newspaper edited by Emiliano Fittipaldi. “I don’t think it’s right that people who are actually not part of my life, and who don’t have any public role, should be brought into the spotlight and featured in the newspapers with their personal affairs because of me.”

But she was actually the first to import her biography wholesale into the political realm: the way she narrated her story before the Italians was an element in her rise to power, and in fact marked the beginning of the long campaign that led her all the way to Palazzo Chigi.

Hence Meloni’s irritated reaction towards this investigative report, which she is likely to continue to display towards other newspapers in the coming days. Her reactions point to a kind of siege mentality on the part of the prime minister, which is coming up in the same days that she’s getting her hands on the public television RAI and grabbing as many high-ranking positions as she can, including at the expense of her government allies, in the complicated horse trade of political appointments.

“What is the goal of this alleged scoop?” Meloni keeps asking. “I’ll tell you. To sling some mud at me … And make me lose my composure, my clear head, in the hope that I’ll make a wrong move. But that won’t happen, because I know exactly who I am. I’m an honest, free person, and I am convinced that this is what’s driving you people crazy.” The story, and Meloni’s self-narrative, is meant to go on and on, no matter what.

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