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If Italy were Hungary

Stories and News No. 1284

It is the year 2034, ladies and gentlemen, and this is a journey into a nightmare that some call a dream.
Much has changed since the September election day twelve years ago.
As promised, many say, or perhaps we should say feared.
The Italian government - moved to the right of itself, formed by the trio Meloni, Salvini and Berlusconi, has already won more than one mandate and is a favorite for the next.
Because by now they have understood how to force the rules, manipulate the parties on the field and divide to conquer, winning hands down with percentages even higher than expected.
But let's talk about how Italy has changed since the day they took office.
In recent years, the acutal government has disrupted the Italian media landscape, which has led to accusations of limitation of media freedoms by the European Union and by groups for democracy.
The executive has strengthened its hold on the national media, along with TV, turning them into spokespersons for the authorities, critics say. Advertising money funneled into the pockets of retailers close to the government, helping to create additional media insurance within those already close to government leaders, while numerous other media outlets were shut down or taken over by owners close to the majority.
In 2034, Italy ranked 94th in the World Press Freedom Index, down from 58th place in 2022.
Strong of the numbers in favor, the majority have changed many legal guidelines.
During the first term it forced many judges to withdraw despite the EU accusing of violating its regulations. The Constitutional Court subsequently overturned elements of those laws.
Critics say the new electoral regulations have helped cementing the center-right energy with the help of aiding large parties and redesigning electoral districts.
On the other hand, the exponents of the majority hold the key institutions and the top of the media authority.
With businessmen close to the government getting big chunks of strategic sectors, the nationalization of the latter has increased, with the executive announcing in advance that this year the banking, media and electricity sectors have become owned by the majority.
In terms of immigration, Italy has built a fence on the border in the north of the country, in addition to having carried out the announced naval blockade, and has imposed a series of asylum regulations that are among the toughest in Europe.
The authorities cracked down on some non-governmental groups and tightened controls on educational institutions.
The current government has established itself as a defender of Italy's cultural identification in opposition to Muslim immigration and protector of Christian values in opposition to the so-called "gender and LGBT ideology" and Western liberalism.
In these 12 years, the authorities have redefined marriage as a union between a man and a woman within the Constitution, and have limited homosexual adoption and the rights of transgender people.
Finally, the Italian government has pursued an "oriental" opening towards Russia and China, underlining its proximity to Moscow. In fact, despite criticism of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the leaders in power have always avoided personal criticism of Putin and on the contrary have firmly sided against the sanctions.
To conclude, today's Italy has undergone a significant democratic setback and is in fact governed by an autocracy, or an authoritarian kleptocracy.

Does this seem an unlikely scenario, perhaps worthy of a Philip K. Dick-like Ukronic plot? Well, what you have just read - applied to my country - is a more than well-founded description of the policies implemented in the Hungarian nation during Orban's 12 years.
That is, an example of public administration that the probable next Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her companion Salvini support, share and consider a model.
I will be wrong, but I believe that in the next few years it will be necessary for many here to find forgotten, underestimated or left to dusty words as memory, resistance and active participation...

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