Russian Gas and the Fight for the Italian Right

Tyler Leonard

On 8-9 June 2024, Italians will elect their tenth delegation to the EU Parliament. A record 67% of EU citizens plan to vote, up 9% from 2019. Key issues for Italian voters include the economy, jobs, healthcare, and poverty, with the economy being the primary concern. Natural gas, crucial for Italy's electricity and ambitions as an energy hub, poses a challenge due to reliance on Russian imports amidst the Ukraine war. The election will reflect Italian views on economic and security policies, with leaders Giorgia Meloni and Matteo Salvini influencing the campaign. Meloni, of Fratelli d’Italia, and Salvini, of Lega, might shift rightward on energy issues, potentially softening EU sanctions on Russia. The paper examines their dynamic and implications for EU policy, using public opinion theory to analyze their strategies.

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