The sweeping right-wing victory in Italy’s general election has sparked concern among parties in Germany about the country’s future course in Europe. The deputy chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, Achim Post, spoke on Monday of a “bitter day for everyone who wants a strong and democratic Europe”. Green Party leader Omid Nouripour did not rule out weakening the EU sanctions policy against Russia in the Ukraine conflict. Only the AfD welcomed the election victory of the right.

Nouripour called the outcome of the election “worrying”. Especially with people within the right-wing national alliance, there are “very close ties with the Kremlin,” said the Greens boss in the “early start” of RTL and ntv. “That’s why it’s actually the case that one cannot rule out that people in Moscow also popped the corks last night.” At the EU level, sanctions must always be decided unanimously and extended.

The FDP Europe expert Alexander Graf Lambsdorff assumed that cooperation with Italy in the European Union would become more difficult. However, election winner Giorgia Meloni has recently made more constructive comments about the joint sanctions against Russia, Lambsdorff said in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. Former Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini and his Lega wanted to “drill holes in this package of sanctions”. But Meloni “opposed it very clearly”.

The fact that Italy, as a founding European country, “is now likely to be governed by an alliance of neo-fascists, right-wing nationalists and right-wing populists is a heavy burden for Europe’s cohesion and ability to act,” said SPD parliamentary group leader Post. Germany in particular is now called upon to “develop practical and solidarity-based solutions for the current European crisis tasks, build political bridges and develop realistic future prospects for Europe”.

The foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Jürgen Hardt, was confident that the election victory of the right-wing camp in Italy would not lead to a break with Europe. “I’m counting on the new government to know what’s at stake for Italy,” he said on rbb24 Inforadio. “Italy depends very much on good relations with the European Union, not only economically and financially, but also politically.”

As a consequence, left-wing leader Martin Schirdewan called for a more socially oriented policy in Europe. The shift to the right in Italy was “also the result of years of austerity policies by the technocratic elite and center parties,” he explained on Twitter. Anyone who wants Europe must “take it from the rich and corporations. Carrying on like this will destroy our democracy”.

AfD party leader Alice Weidel congratulated the chairwoman of the right-wing party Fratelli d’Italia (FDI), Giorgia Meloni. Bundestag parliamentary group leader Beatrix von Storch wrote: “We celebrate with Italy! Congratulations to the entire centre-right alliance.” Weidel and von Storch also referred to the victory of the right-wing camp in mid-September in the parliamentary elections in Sweden.

Meloni’s FDI party came out on top in Sunday’s elections; according to projections, a right-wing alliance with the right-wing national Lega and Forza Italia (FI) received a good 43 percent of the votes. Due to the Italian electoral system, this should be enough for an absolute majority of seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate.