Leader of post-fascist Brothers of Italy takes oath before President Sergio Mattarella at Quirinal Palace in Rome –– once home to popes and kings of Italy.
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Far-right leader Giorgia Meloni has been sworn in as Italian prime minister, to become the first woman to head a government in Italy.
Meloni took the oath on Saturday before President Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinal Palace in Rome, once home to popes and kings of Italy.
Meloni's appointment is an historic event for the eurozone's third largest economy and for post-fascist Brothers of Italy, which has never been in government.
It won 26 percent of the vote last month, compared to eight and nine percent respectively for her allies Forza Italia and the far-right League.
Meloni's 24-strong cabinet, including six women, suggests a desire to reassure Italy's partners.
She appointed Giancarlo Giorgetti as economy minister, who served under the previous government of Mario Draghi.
Giorgetti, a former minister of economic development, is considered one of the more moderate, pro-Europe members of Matteo Salvini's League.
Meloni also named ex-European Parliament president Antonio Tajani, of Forza Italia, as foreign minister and deputy prime minister.
Salvini will serve as deputy prime minister and minister of infrastructure and transport.
A formal ceremony for the handover of power from Draghi to Meloni will take place on Sunday before the premier leads the first cabinet meeting.
'Europe needs Italy'
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Meloni.
"I count on and look forward to constructive cooperation with the new government on the challenges we face together," she tweeted on Saturday.
European Parliament speaker Roberta Metsola tweeted in Italian that "Europe needs Italy".
Von der Leyen and Meloni later held telephone talks, which the Commission chief described as "good", adding: "We will work together to address the critical challenges of our time, from Ukraine to energy."
US President Joe Biden congratulated Meloni and called Italy a "vital NATO ally and close partner".
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted he looked "forward to continued fruitful cooperation to ensure peace and prosperity in Ukraine, Italy and the world".
Meloni tweeted in response: "Italy is and will always be on the side of the brave people of Ukraine that is fighting for its freedom and for a rightful peace. You are not alone!"
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he looked forward to working with her as he congratulated Meloni.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also sent his congratulations on Twitter. "Big day for the European Right!" he wrote.
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