Elon Musk to attend Italian PM's right-wing gathering

AFP - [email protected]
Elon Musk to attend Italian PM's right-wing gathering
Billionaire Elon Musk on the stage of The New York Times Dealbook Summit in New York in November 2023. Photo by Slaven Vlasic / Getty Images via AFP

Billionaire Elon Musk is set to take part in a political festival organised by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy this weekend in Rome, a party spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.


Musk, who owns social media platform X (formerly Twitter), in September backed Meloni's government in a row over Germany's funding of charities that rescue shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, who recently struck a deal with Meloni to establish two centres for migrants rescued by the Italian coastguard in his country, is also expected at the four-day Atreju festival in Rome, which opens on Thursday.

However, the spokesman for Meloni's Brothers of Italy party was unable to confirm speculation that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak would also attend. Downing Street declined to comment.

READ ALSO: Musk says cage fight with Zuckerberg will be at 'epic location' in Italy

Meloni helped found the Atreju festival in 1998, when she was part of a far-right youth organisation. The gathering has since become an annual event for the political right, although it has also drawn centre-left politicians.

Former Donald Trump strategist Steve Bannon attended in 2018, as he sought to create a pan-European right-wing movement, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made an appearance the following year.

Back then, Meloni's party, which she helped found in 2012, was still a marginal force in Italian politics.

In September 2022 she stunned Italy's allies by winning the general elections, in large part on a promise to end mass migration into the country.

READ ALSO: How has Italy's 'anti-immigrant' government changed the rules for foreigners?

She took office in October 2022 as the first woman to lead Italy, at the helm of a coalition including Matteo Salvini of the far-right League and former premier Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing Forza Italia party.


The guests this weekend also include Santiago Abascal, leader of Spain's far-right Vox party, according to the official programme.

Spain's Socialist party on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Abascal over comments suggesting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would meet a dictator's end and be strung up "by his feet".

Meloni is due to make a speech on Sunday at the festival, which was named after a character in fantasy novel and later film series "The Neverending Story".


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