At first left aside with the justification of incompatibility of agendas, a meeting between President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, was added to the official visit of the PT to the European country at the last minute , informed the government this Tuesday (20).
The meeting with the far-right leader takes place this Wednesday afternoon (21). Before, Lula’s official trip only included meetings with the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, the mayor of Rome, Roberto Gualtieri, and Pope Francis, the latter in the Vatican.
Then, when the PT leaves Italy for Paris, there is also a meeting with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and possible bilateral meetings with other leaders, including the Haitian prime minister, Ariel Henry, and the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
Meloni took office as prime minister in October 2022. She leads the first far-right government in Italy since the end of World War II, in addition to being the first woman to hold the post.
There was fear among interlocutors from the Brazilian and Italian governments that the absence of a meeting with Meloni could publicize the image that ideological differences between the two leaders would be an obstacle to high-level dialogue between states.
Still in Italy, in addition to the authorities, Lula will also have a meeting with sociologist Domenico de Masi. According to the Itamaraty, Lula and President Mattarella will deal with themes such as cooperation in the area of Defense, especially in the transfer of technology, and the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur. The Italian will also offer lunch to Lula and the first lady, Rosângela da Silva.
The meeting with Mayor Gualtieri will be of a “personal nature”. The leader of Rome even visited Lula when he was arrested in Curitiba, between 2018 and 2019, under Operation Lava Jato. At the time, in July 2018, Gualtieri was serving as an MEP.
With Pope Francis, the main topic under discussion will be the War in Ukraine, as well as policies to reduce social inequalities and fight hunger.