Who is Elly Schlein, the anti Meloni who seeks to rescue the Italian left?

The young deputy Elly Schlein, 37, won the leadership of the Democratic Party (PD) last Sunday. Everyone sees her as the antithesis of Giorgia Meloni, capable of opposing the Italian extreme right (GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE /)

As of last Sunday, Elly Schlein he will have to manage the difficult internal resistance that opposed his leadership, but also the accusation of being the antithesis of Giorgia Meloni capable of banishing the Italian extreme right.

A 37-year-old deputy, she is the first woman to lead the largest opposition party in the country, the Social Democrat Democratic Party (PD). After the triumph, with more than 53% of the votes, Schlein, an Italian-American woman born in Switzerland 37 years ago, feminist, secular and homosexual, promises to make Italian politics more varied.

The arrival of the young woman from the left is caused after Enrico Letta unsuccessfully tried to revive the Social Democrats after the bitter election date that gave Meloni the winner. A blow that I cannot overcome and led him to call a primary last Sunday that, against all odds, gave Schlein the victory.

For everyone, the new leftist leader is the “nemesis” of the President of the Council of Ministers, Giorgia Meloni. The leader of the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) represents the neopos fascism, an origin that he has managed to qualify with a socialization of the most questioned policies of the extreme right. On the other side, Schlein comes from an intellectual, cosmopolitan and traditionally left-wing family.

But in addition, she arrives with the heavy task of being the secretary of a party whose members wanted Stefano Bonaccini and not to her, including the group leaders of the Camerahe Senate and the European Parliament. Nobody was betting on her, even the Italian newspapers, such as The stampsummary: “The right woman in the wrong place.”

Schlein’s career includes being on Barack Obama’s campaign teams. Born in 1985 to a couple of Italian-American teachers in Lugano, Switzerland, the young woman has a clear multicultural trait, beyond her three nationalities. She arrived in Italy when she was 19 years old, during which time she studied law at the University of Bologna.

His profile is designated as “atypical”. From participating as a volunteer in the Democratic campaign groups in the United States, to being described by the newspaper The Corriere della Sera as a true “intellectual” who also spends her free time playing the video game Monkey Island.

Cultured, film lover and music lover, the new Italian figure has acknowledged feeling comfortable in the civil rights and protest movement, with a socio-ecological and progressive orientation, which has already earned him the nickname of “the anti-Meloni”.

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Everyone imagines an upcoming duel between two extremes: the Head of Government and the new leftist leader

Her first words, at least to those who voted for her, highlight her “responsibility for not betraying the trust of the democratic people.”

Political objectives followed immediately, aimed at clarifying internal anxieties or external challenges: “We will be a problem for the Meloni government, we will be here with a program whose slogans are minimum wage, environment, work. Building “oppositions in defense of the poor, of public schools” and “barricades against any cut to health.”

The surprise has moved the Italian political agenda. The socialist scenario counted on the triumph of Bonaccini, a typical party candidate who would represent the classic positions of the labor movement. Even someone who could make agreements with the center-right of the country. On the contrary, Schlein has distanced himself from these possible alliances. In fact, his political history shows that he has walked away from many political deals.

Among the many questions that Italian politics asks itself, after his triumph, is the concern of “How did Elly Schlein win?”. Roman editorialists allude more to images than to words. Some anticipate an imaginary televised challenge between the Head of Government and the new leader of the opposition. “Who would be more effective against Giorgia Meloni? A long-term governor, a middle-aged man or an emerging parliamentarian, a young woman, with a clever joke? The Runner.

Although they are conjectures, some sound convincing. Even, that the Democratic supporters have wanted to leave the traditional premises to look for a rival in the position of their secretary with a different weight. So unexpected, but that has a value as decisive as Meloni for the right. So different, but so similar at the same time.

An extremist scream in crazy Italian politics. Such a dissimilar panorama, where on the one hand, Meloni multiplies the disturbing comments about the rights of women and people LGBT and, from the other, Schlein questions the ultraconservatives. “I’m a woman. I love another woman and I am not a mother, but I am still a woman. We are not living wombs, but people with rights,” said the young politician a few days ago.

At the moment, everything is in the correct formalities. Meloni sent her “congratulations” to Elly Schlein. “I hope that the election of a young woman at the head of the PD can help the left to look forward and not back,” he added. However, everyone is waiting for the stinging darts of their partners: Silvio Berlusconi and Matteo Salvini.

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