Meloni-Schlein saber blows in the courtroom and foil final: a fleeting glance, a quick handshake and separate ways
It happens at the end of question time in the Chamber. Sitting suspended, the benches of the deputies are emptied, Elly Schlein goes towards the exit closest to her, while Giorgia Meloni rearranges the papers in her folder and heads towards the opposite one. Suddenly, the Pd secretary hesitates about her, looks around her, crosses her gaze with her premier, shyly raises her hand in greeting. Meloni concedes a tight smile and backtracks, goes back behind the government benches and joins his rival: a fleeting handshake, mutual "good job", not even time to exchange a few words, then both retrace their steps. Thus ends the first direct contact between the two protagonists of Italian politics. They have just confronted each other in the close questioning and answering of the parliamentary question: the theme chosen by the dem leader is that of the minimum wage, with the clear objective of making the battle dear to the 5-star Movement head for it. "Madam President", begins Schlein, who accuses the government leader of having defined the legal minimum wage as a "bait and switch": "Go and tell those who have starvation wages, it is an issue you must talk about". Meloni doesn't get upset, on the contrary he maliciously points out that the erosion of wage levels in Italy in recent years is underlined in the question, "when you were in charge, now it's up to us to fix it". But not with the minimum wage, which "risks being pejorative, a downward parameter", warns the premier. Schlein shakes his head, at the moment she replies in her heat she can't turn on the microphone, catching the ironic giggles from the majority benches. She then launches into a heartfelt invective. Stings Meloni on the contradiction of the Brothers of Italy, who "in Europe voted in favor of the directive on the minimum wage", arousing the piqued reaction of the prime minister, an eloquent mimic. Then you go on the attack of the right "obsessed with immigration, but which does not see the emigration of young people" grappling with poor work. A right that thinks of fighting "against raves, NGOs, the rights of children of homosexual couples", continues Schlein, while Meloni says aloud "but what does it have to do with it", visibly annoyed. In the end, the Pd secretary almost leads to the rally, accusing the government of "inability, approximation and insensitivity", and inviting them to stop "propaganda, because now you are in government, I am in opposition". Meloni remains impassive, she knows she has all eyes on her, she feigns indifference. She ends with a handshake: loyal opponents, at least in appearance, the challenge has just begun.