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Jun 14, 2024, 7:28am EDT
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Semafor Signals

All but one G7 leader faces political turmoil at home

Insights from Politico, The Guardian, Firstpost, Associated Press, The New York Times, and the BBC

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U.S. President Joe Biden, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France's President Emmanuel Macron, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, ⁠Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stand on the first day of the G7 summit, in Savelletri, Italy, June 13, 2024. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
REUTERS/Yara Nardi
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The News

A common thread united all but one leader at the Group of Seven summit under way in Italy — they all face political headwinds back at home.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government is trying to avert collapse over a budget shortfall, French President Emmanuel Macron is fighting for survival after calling a snap election, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives are facing near-annihilation in next month’s UK election. In the US, President Joe Biden faces a rematch with a resurgent Donald Trump, while Japan’s Fumio Kishida is fielding calls from his party to step down and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces record-low poll ratings.

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The lone exception is Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, basking in the far-right’s success at this month’s European elections.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

‘Weakest’ G7 leadership at this year’s summit

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Sources:  
Politico, The Guardian

This year’s G7 summit presents “arguably the weakest gathering of leaders” in years, said Politico, at a time when the democratic world urgently needs strong and clear leadership. The contrast with Meloni couldn’t be starker: “Never has a host had so little in common with her guests,” observed The Guardian’s diplomatic editor. But Politico noted that the Italian premier “doesn’t lead a superpower” and as head of only the world’s ninth-largest economy is limited on what she can actually achieve on the global stage.

Meloni is becoming Europe’s ‘kingmaker’

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Sources:  
The Associated Press, Firstpost

Within Europe, however, Meloni could play a key role, argued other reports. Her right-wing Brothers of Italy party won 28% of the vote in the recent European parliamentary elections, and cemented Meloni’s place as Europe’s “kingmaker,” The Associated Press said. She could even hold the balance of power that keeps European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the bloc’s helm. “If Meloni extends her support to von der Leyen, the EU Commission would have to accommodate her, which would put Italy at the centre of European politics,” Indian outlet Firstpost noted.

Macron’s ‘hasty’ snap election has been criticized

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Sources:  
BBC, The New York Times

French voters will head to the polls on June 30 and July 7, marking the shortest-ever campaign period in the country’s history. Macron called the surprise ballot following the far-right’s stunning rise in the European elections, leaving parties scrambling to select candidates and forge alliances. Voters have openly questioned Macron’s wisdom in calling the election: “Trapping French people in a three-week, hasty campaign where we’re stuck between the two extremes, frankly, is not a good move on the part of the president,” one voter told The New York Times.

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