The G7 and Other Observations: Meloni Proves Revenge Is a Dinner Best Served Icy Cold

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

The G-7 summit in Puglia, Italy has been a parade of some pretty memorable moments already, and none of them have to do with earthshaking political announcements or new agreements. It's all personalities and intrigue - so different from any other time, other than Merkel snarling at Trump.


This year's edition is hosted by Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, who is fresh off her election day triumph just this past Sunday.

She's been the perfect hostess on a world stage and a savvy politician, solicitous of friends while leaving no question who she holds in little regard.

The embattled Prime Minister of England is one of her particular favorites.

...Meloni, the Italian prime minister who is one of Sunak’s closest international allies, appeared to ask him sympathetically: “Are you OK?” as they embraced on his arrival in Puglia for the G7 leaders’ summit on Thursday. Sunak’s Conservative party is languishing 20 points behind Labour in opinion polls and is widely expected to lose the general election in three weeks’ time.

By contrast, the Brothers of Italy won almost 29% of the Italian vote in the European parliament elections last weekend, up from 6.4% in 2019. Its success has turned the G7 summit into a victory lap for Meloni. On Monday she said: “Italy will present itself at the G7 and in Europe with the strongest government of all.”

Meloni wasn't exaggerating - she's in the absolute strongest shape of any of the G-7 government heads. Scholz is teetering, Fidelito Trudeau is getting his clock cleaned in polls by conservative Pierre Poilievre, Bond villainess Von der Leyen is looking for friends in a bid to keep her European Union Commission Presidency, Biden is...well...*sigh*...and Emmanuel Macron of France?


He was cut off at the knees by Marine LePen's party romping to a massive victory in the European elections this past weekend and, when Macron called for snap elections thinking to use the Republicans to thwart the Center-Right attack? They struck first by declaring for LePen's party, effectively hanging lame duck Macron out to dry like a Peking one.

Was Prime Minister Meloni equally as concerned for Macron's precarious political fortunes as for Sunak's?

Ah, no. You see, there's some history there.

Elected Italy's prime minister in the fall of 2022, Meloni was the first mainstream European populist shocker. Who did this anti-immigration, making her own energy deals, working-class nationalist champion think she was?

Von der Leyen, Macron, and the Brussels elites LOATHED her equally as much as they had adored her effortlessly urbane predecessor, Mario Draghi.

So much so that they began to exclude her - and by that measure, Italy - from the everyday EU goings-on the country had always been a party to. The final straw that broke the camel's back was a very public diss by none other than the elfin and effete French president himself.

...Plus, she knows the Brussels cabal can’t stand the Italians. Look what happened just last week – unspeakably rude.

…Last week, for example, President Emmanuel Macron of France excluded Ms. Meloni from a dinner in Paris with Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, a clear sign that Italy had been knocked down a notch from when Mr. Draghi was in office. But analysts said Mr. Macron also wanted to avoid indirectly legitimizing France’s own right-wing firebrand, Marine Le Pen.

Ms. Meloni fumed, saying Italy sought more than “pats on the back,” and some interpreted her huddling in Brussels last week with leaders of the Czech Republic and Poland as a veiled warning. But on Friday, Ms. Meloni, a skillful politician well versed in the politics of victimization, spent a significant amount of time explaining that she did not care about not being invited to Paris.

…European officials have warned that a combative approach only risks diminishing Italy’s influence. And at home, liberals fear that Ms. Meloni is beginning to show her true, authoritarian face.

How she kept her temper – for a firebrand – I have no idea. And then to pile on, warning her like she’s some vassal state.


Vassal state, indeed. Meloni did point out a few of the French president's hypocritical failings in a memorable television interview shortly thereafter.

Ah, what a difference two years makes and nothing tastes as sweet as being a winner on your own terms.

Not only is Meloni in firm control of her country while Macron has no idea if he'll have a job at the end of the month, but she also flexed her muscles during the G-7 meetings regarding language in the statement and prevailed, specifically over the express wishes of the French president.

Then came this moment. 

And I love it.

Personalities - this summit has them in spades, I tell you.

As if it's not enough that POTATUS went wandering off yesterday...


...(Meloni graciously went to retrieve him - after all it IS her party...)...

...but for some reason, today, Biden felt he had to give Pope Francis the Gordon Ramsay "What kind of sammich are you?" treatment.

Francis was so surprised he couldn't answer for a couple of seconds.


Biden also saluted Zelensky, who'd gotten all spiffed up in a woolly pully for the round table... 

...instead of the t-shirt he'd worn earlier for all the photo-ops.

Since Erin Burnett wasn't around, I guess the Ukrainian president figured his beefcake was wasted on the geezers who were there.

Man. The epic weirdness is off the charts.

I'm sure glad there nothing serious going on in the world.


We'd be totally screwed.

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