The Brothers of Italy leader looks set to become Italy’s first woman prime minister at the head of its most right-wing government since World War Two. Final results showed the rightist bloc should have a solid majority in both houses of parliament, potentially ending years of upheaval and fragile coalitions.
The result is the latest success for the right in Europe after a breakthrough for the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats in an election this month and advances made by the National Rally in France in June.
Ms Meloni plays down her party’s post-fascist roots and portrays it as a mainstream group like Britain’s Conservatives.
She has pledged to back Western policy on Ukraine and not take risks with Italy’s fragile finances.
Ms Meloni, who has spoken out against what she calls “the LGBT lobby” and mass immigration, struck a conciliatory tone in her victory speech in the early hours of Monday.
“If we are called on to govern this nation we will do it for all the Italians, with the aim of uniting the people and focusing on what unites us rather than what divides us,” she told cheering supporters. “This is a time for being responsible.”
He said: “Italy of course is a cause for concern. Parties in this coalition have said and done things that should make us vigilant. This relates to Russia, and to financial and economic issues.
“But we need to give her a chance. I will try to build a good relationship with her.”
But the warnings against the newly elected soon-to-be government, were criticised by a senior Brussels official who wished to remain anonymous.
Speaking to The Times, they said: “The last thing we want to do is to pit Brussels against voters.”
They added: “A threat — veiled or not — can be used to show voters that the EU is a monster.”
Commenting on Ms von der Leyen’s warning, they continued: “There is nothing wrong with saying this, but only if the context and timing is right,”
“Italy is too big to fail,” the senior source added. “It is not up to us to say, ‘Shame on you Italians’. We should work with her government and make sure we do not drive voters further away.”