“Meloni to Showcase Italy’s Strength Amidst G7 Leaders

Two accommodation options for this week’s G7 summit in the southern Italian region of Puglia have starkly contrasted: one, a luxurious resort of bougainvillea-clad villas and private pools, frequented by celebrities like Madonna and the Beckhams, and the wedding venue for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel.

The other, a massive ship docked off the coast of Brindisi, plagued by water leaks and malfunctioning air conditioning units spewing dirt onto bedsheets.

The first, the opulent Borgo Egnazia, is hosting the leaders of the world’s largest advanced economies, including Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron, Rishi Sunak, and Justin Trudeau.

The second was intended to accommodate the 2,600 police officers providing security. Their unions have condemned the conditions as “inhuman,” likening them to those of ancient slave ships.

Reportedly costing the Italian government €6m (£5.07m), the ship has now been impounded, and a fraud investigation is underway.

Two faces of Italy: the sublime and the shoddy.

EPA A G7 cake with the words (in Italian) "Welcome to Puglia"
The G7 leaders will gather in the southern Italian region of Puglia

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to showcase Italy’s best this week as she hosts world leaders, basking in the success of her recent European election victory. Her party, the far-right Brothers of Italy, secured a decisive win, making her the only Western European leader to emerge strengthened from the vote.

In stark contrast, France’s President Emmanuel Macron faced a significant defeat by the far-right National Rally, prompting him to call for fresh parliamentary elections. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz saw his Social Democrats suffer their worst-ever European election result, falling to third place behind the far-right AfD.

Other G7 leaders are also grappling with challenges. Rishi Sunak is trailing in the polls ahead of the UK election, Justin Trudeau faces a tough electoral battle in Canada next year, and Joe Biden risks losing the White House to Donald Trump in November.

Amid these challenges, Meloni confidently claimed that Italy is entering the summit with “the strongest government of all.”

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