RETRACTION, Sept. 28, 2022: The Western Journal retracted this article after Reuters reported that the video shared on Twitter showed “a 2013 protest where an Italian neo-fascist group tore down the European Union flag at the European Commission headquarters in Rome” rather than an event that occurred more recently. While we had noted in the article that we had been unable to verify the video’s provenance, our headline claimed that the video recorded events that took place this week, which is not true.
As a coalition of right-leaning parties stood poised to form a new government in Italy after Sunday’s elections, a group of Italian protestors reportedly torn down the European Union flag from the E.U.’s headquarters in Rome.
Giorgia Meloni, leading the conservative Brothers of Italy party, won the Italian national election on Sunday and is expected to form a coalition government with the right-leaning Forza Italia party led by Silvio Berlusconi and the League party led by Matteo Salvini, Sky News reported.
Meloni, a powerful orator, has previously called for a naval blockade to prevent illegal immigration from North Africa to Italy according to Sky News, and despite establishment media’s reports of her “far-right” political views told the outlet, “There is nobody all over the world who needs to be afraid of us.”
Sky News reported that speaking to her supporters in Rome, Meloni gave a rallying cry in 2019 which would later become the most famous of her career — so far.
She said that her party stood “against global leftist forces” who see familial and national identity “as enemies” and prefer people to be “just codes.”
“But we aren’t just codes. We are people. And we’ll defend our identity,” she told them.
“I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, I’m Christian! You won’t take that away from me!” It was a line that would define her campaign.
Chi sogna un’Italia orgogliosa, chi vuole tornare ad essere fiero della sua Nazione, della sua gente e della sua bandiera, il 25 settembre sceglie @FratellidItalia.
Noi siamo pronti: ora è il vostro momento. #VotaFDI #Meloni pic.twitter.com/tf4Pq8k9w7
— Giorgia Meloni 🇮🇹 ن (@GiorgiaMeloni) September 23, 2022
Days before the election that saw Meloni take power, a video surfaced of a group of Italian protestors reportedly taking down the European Union flag at the E.U. headquarters in Rome. The Western Journal could not independently verify the video or when it was taken.
Some commenters on Twitter have suggested the action came in response to E.U. Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen’s comments on Thursday from Princeton University where she gave a “veiled warning” to the Italian right, according to Reuters.
Some time ago, a group of Italian patriots went to EU headquarters in Rome, removed EU flag and replaced it with the Italian one. The squalid threats of Ursula von der Leyen do not scare the Italians and cannot go unnoticed. Italy belongs to the Italian people. Get up Italy 🇮🇹! pic.twitter.com/y9uCueYDod
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) September 24, 2022
“My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we’re working together,” von der Leyen said.
Von der Leyen threatens the Italians: “We will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.” A desperate attempt to influence the vote in Italy that runs towards the far right. Game over Ursula! pic.twitter.com/MhkaiQus9x
— RadioGenova (@RadioGenova) September 23, 2022
She explained, “We’ll see. If things go in a difficult direction, I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland. We have tools. If things go in the right direction and people as a body that is always… where always governments have to be accountable to play an important role.”
Reuters reported that Salvini responded by denouncing the E.U. official’s comments as “shameful arrogance.”
He tweeted, “What is this, a threat?” he wrote. “Respect the free, democratic and sovereign vote of the Italian people!”
Cos’è, una minaccia?
Rispetti il voto, libero, democratico e sovrano del popolo italiano! Amici di tutti, servi di nessuno. pic.twitter.com/aSUShmqFvY
— Matteo Salvini (@matteosalvinimi) September 23, 2022
The Sunday election brought not just the most conservative prime minister to power in Italy since World War II, but also the first-ever woman.
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