Will Meloni and Le Pen Be Right-Wing Besties? It’s Complicated

Few people outside France are paying closer attention to its election than Italian premier Giorgia Meloni — and anyone assuming she and the National Rally leader Marine Le Pen would find common ground as right-wing populists would be wrong.

In fact, people familiar with Meloni’s thinking say she is acutely conscious that, should Le Pen’s party prevail on July 7 — even shy of an absolute majority in parliament — they would be uneasy allies at best. The Frenchwoman poses a challenge to the Italian’s current status as the standard-bearer and darling of a new brand of conservatism trying to impose itself across the European Union.