Government Watch / Politics

Italy’s Future Prime Minister Adopts Trump-Style Approach to Energy Independence

AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Energy

At a NATO Summit in July 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump raised concerns that Germany had become a “captive of Russia” due to its overreliance on Russian energy, issuing a similar admonition to other Western nations. Though European liberals and the mainstream press scoffed at Trump’s warning, his now-famous statements proved all too prescient four years later as Europe suddenly found itself at Putin’s mercy following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now, incoming Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is determined to follow the Trump model of viewing energy independence as a national security issue and finally break Russia’s energy leverage over Italy and the continent.

Western Europe’s obsession with “green” energy has meant that most countries have shuttered their coal and nuclear power plants in recent years (although many are now reopening old plants in a desperate bid to keep the lights on). Germany, once an energy giant in Europe, was by the time of Trump’s prophetic warning in 2018 importing 70 percent of its energy from Russia, and was in the process of beginning construction on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. “It should never be allowed to happen,” Trump said at the time.

Austria, Denmark, Finland, and France were also importing more than a quarter of their natural gas supplies from Russia. Italy, meanwhile, relied on Russian suppliers for 39 percent of its natural gas.

Leaders of these nations should have heeded the early warning sign in 2002, when, in the middle of a severe winter, Putin violated a trade deal and cut off natural gas supplies to Poland. Since then, it has been clear that Russia views its energy supplies as an instrument of its foreign policy, and would not hesitate to leverage them in any conflict with the West.

However, few chose to react, and Europe has paid the price for it following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Again proving Trump right, Germany was hit hardest when Russia began restricting gas supplies through its Nord Stream pipeline, effectively forcing Germany to the sidelines in the conflict. Apparent sabotage of both pipelines late last month has led to further escalation of the crisis.

Italy, with its geographically central location in Europe and the Mediterranean, is uniquely positioned to emerge as an alternative energy hub – something which the incoming Meloni government made clear they intended to take advantage of soon after their election victory last month. In true Trumpian form, Meloni promised an “Italy First” approach to energy policy at a speech earlier this month in Milan. In her first public outing since being elected, Meloni told a group of farmers and producers that “Italy’s posture must return to…the defense of its national interests.” Notably, the speech came as Russian gas giant Gazprom said it could no longer confirm shipments of liquid natural gas (LNG) to Italy.

Since the Russian invasion in February, Italy has actively searched for alternative natural gas sources, a mission the Meloni government hopes to expand. Italian energy giant ENI, for example, together with Egypt’s EGAS, has boosted LNG gas production in the Nile Delta. Imports from the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, which connects Italy with gas fields in Azerbaijan, are set to reach 9 billion cubic meters by the end of the year, an increase of more than 2.5 billion cubic meters since 2021. There are also plans for another trans-Sahara pipeline that will ship gas from 15 African countries to Italy, a project gas-rich Libya is eager to join as well.

Italy can offer Europe more than gas to regain independence from Putin. Italy has ample supplies of methane, which cost Italy around 5 cents per cubic meter to extract and process, compared to 50-70 cents per cubic meter for imported natural gas. Three energy firms now have plans to drill more than 20 new wells under the seabed of the Adriatic and the Strait of Sicily, generating thousands of new jobs and providing much-needed energy independence for Italy and Europe.

Meloni understand that Italy’s success in becoming an energy platform for Europe, will lift countries in North Africa and the Middle East like Lebanon from poverty by restoring hope, peace and economic growth while preventing mass migration. The new President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, assured the new government of the Italian Bishop’s support of “this humane immigration policy”.

Meloni’s vision of Italy as a dynamic, profitable, reliable, and independent energy hub for Europe contrasts sharply with former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s failed concept of two pipelines dependent on the Kremlin. Forced to go to the market to replace Russian supplies, Germany has now been compelled to implement price caps on electricity as the country braces for a brutal winter.

Meloni is determined that this will not be Italy’s fate, and that Europe, led by a populist, conservative vision, will never again be reliant on an adversary for something as critical as energy. Though Trump has been out of office for nearly two years, it is clear that his model of governance and energy policy is continuing to have positive ripple effects throughout the world. 

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher. 


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David
3 months ago

meloni was recently made a member of the Aspen institute…I haven’t heard Trump congratulating for her win which was by the way with a mere 26% of total pool as nearly 40% did not go to vote…!! we shall see what she is really up to…

Fred
3 months ago

She is a talented and principled politician that may be hard to find these days. I wish our media would devote more time to introduce her in U.S. Parliamentary support for her government exceeded the imaginations of nearly all commentators. Although here they are fixated on her supposed pro-fascism in youth, a claim entirely manufactured by the mainstream media, in Italy and many parts of Europe, she symbolises winning hope for Conservative ideas.
Now, many economists agree she adopted a program that, among many things, can defeat inflation.

John
3 months ago

Meloni emphasized energy independence and flat tax. Young Italian entrepreneurs are glad that, finally, the Italian Prime Minister included in the government program what they desired. In 2018, the simulations conducted by one of Italian universities showed that the flat tax was one of the factors that weighed on economic growth.

Eve
3 months ago

Meloni said in her maiden speech that the energy project would boost economic growth that can effectively decrease inflation.
She is making it as a number 1 goal.
If she succeeds, she may have a more positive influence on the world dominated by the leftists.

Luke
3 months ago

Meloni’s energy project is a priority of her government, as she said many times during the campaign. The parties in her coalition and at least one in opposition also perceive it as an economic engine for Italy.
Deregulation, mentioned here, may be crucial for the success, and it looks like industry minister (formally transport) Mateo Salvini will be responsible. It seems like Finance Minister will also treat energy independence, and described in this article new technologies, as a priority for the country.

Granny
3 months ago

She’s a fighter…just like Trump was…and she won’t give up like the British Prime Minister when the left starts to go at her. I saw her speak and it was like hearing an echo of Trump again – and it’s a winning strategy.

Morbious
3 months ago

Like nearly every conservative i wish her well, but given the reaction here to her ascendancy, shes going to be fighting left wing monsters from the git. She will need to be adept at dispatching them quickly. Good luck Giorgia!

Ignazio
3 months ago

During campaign Giorgia Meloni presented her concept of a regulatory reform that would simplify energy production and trade but also all operations of the small business in general.

She is also going to cut spending on welfare, lifting the eligibility threshold for immigrants to 5 years of their stay in Italy. In other words, new immigrants would have to apply for job or go to school to be eligible for financial aid.
The Left opposes this particular reform calling her “unmerciful individual”.

Jeb
3 months ago

The best of the best share ideas with the best of the best.

HOMER SIMPSON
3 months ago

Trump’s genius infected the half wits into action.

President Trump will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders of all time. It is too bad the deck was stacked against his entire term.

Then the biggest international scandal was undertaken to STEAL THE 2020 ELECTION FROM THE GREATEST PRESIDENT EVER.

THE BAD GUYS ARE TERRIFIED OF TRUMP AND THEY SHOULD BE BECAUSE NOW 200,000,000 PATRIOTS ARE READY TO VANQUISH ALL EVIL ON EARTH!

MAGA also benefits the entire globe!!!!

PaulE
3 months ago

I wish Meloni well in his efforts for as long as he gets to serve in the role of PM. He seems more grounded in the realities that confront both Italy and western Europe, as a whole, than the last several Italian PMs, that just concentrated on pandering for votes and making unrealistic promises.

Italy has had 59 PMs since WW2, so that should give you a sense of how long the average PM gets to hold power and make any significant changes. While the country and the people are beautiful, Italy has been mired in layers upon layers of self-inflicted, economy killing, governmental red tape and bureaucracy going back several decades. Italy, like so much of western Europe today, is literally crippled by a regulatory and tax infrastructure that makes getting anything done a total nightmare. Meloni will have to show meaningful results in literally months, not years, if he hopes to see his vision for Italy through. That means getting his government to sweep aside most of the useless red tape that serves no practical purpose other than to inhibit economic growth.

Vicky Kramer
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Giorgia Meloni is an Italian politician who has been serving as the prime minister of Italy since 22 October 2022, the first woman to hold this position. A member of the Chamber of Deputies since 2006, she has led the Brothers of Italy political party since 2014, and she has been the president of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party since 2020

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  Vicky Kramer

My point was the average PM in Italy doesn’t last very long. That if she wants to stay in that role and deliver any meaningful change, she will have to deliver results quite quickly. Italians generally want to see quick results. That will mean she has to cut through a lot of the massive red tape that is associated with doing anything in Italy.

anna hubert
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Unfortunately that is true I am not sure if anyone can tell how many Prime ministers there’ve been since WW2

jonM
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

He?

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  jonM

Sorry I don’t spell check my posts anymore as most get censored by AMAC. None the less, my point of the PM being able to get anything done in the limited time most PMs serve was the main emphasis.

Nick Murphy
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Pay attention, it is not he it is a lady. A woman

Andre Bixby
3 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

While your comments are interesting, you lost me when you refer to Giorgia Meloni as “he”. If you want folks to pay attention to your thoughts, you really need to know and understand the who and what of the topics your comments refer to. Not attempting to throw rocks, but our political situation in this country is such that a full understanding is required by the voters if we are to get out of the mess the democratic cool aid drinkers and low information voters have put us in.

Jack
3 months ago

It is a great beginning and far-reaching plan for Italy’s Prime Minister. Europe needs to diversify its energy supplies.

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