Italian PM Giorgia Meloni Among World's Most Popular Leaders

The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, regularly derided as "far-right" by her critics, is among the world's most popular leaders, according to new polling data from Morning Consult.

Meloni, who brands herself as a staunch conservative, currently boasts a 53% approval and a net popularity of +11 rating among Italians, making her the world's sixth most popular leader, well above Joe Biden at 41%. Despite low expectations for her when she took office, many experts say she has governed in a strong and effective manner. 

Among her most significant successes include bringing down the cost of energy via a three-month suspension of fixed gas charges, with the average national gas bill decreasing from $1.27 per cubic meter in December 2022 to $0.75 in January 2023. With Italy heavily reliant on Russian gas, energy costs began to soar as a result of the war in Ukraine. 

Meloni has also adopted a more liberal approach than her predecessor Mario Draghi regarding COVID-19. She lifted vaccination mandates, allowed healthcare workers who refused vaccination to return to work, and canceled all COVID-19 fines handed out under the previous government. She has, however, failed to make significant inroads into the country's migration crisis as thousands of people continue to arrive illegally on Italian shores from northern Africa. 

Meanwhile, Meloni has effectively calmed fears that she may be a threat to the liberal world order, by offering Italy's full support to Ukraine and keeping the southern European nation in international blocs such as NATO and the European Union.

Among the other popular world leaders include Narendra Modi of India, Alain Berset of Switzerland, and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, all of whom have high net positivity ratings. Some of the least popular leaders include Emmanuel Macron of France, Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, and Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom. 

The most Morning Consult data was gathered between Feb. 8-14 from adult residents in each country, all with varying sample sizes and margins of error. In the U.S., 45,000 residents were surveyed with a margin of error of 1.4%.


Image: Title: Meloni


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