US election 2020: Italy reacts to Biden win

Congratulations to US President-Elect Joe Biden pour in from Italy.

“On behalf of the whole Italian Republic, I would like to express my warmest congratulations on your election as President of the United States of America."

This was how Italy's president Sergio Mattarella introduced his message to the President-Elect of the USA, Joe Biden.

"As a result of a remarkable participation, the American people have entrusted you with the term in office to lead the United States of America throughout a dramatically complex moment for the entire world," said Mattarella in a statement released by the Quirinale.

"The international community needs the support of the United States, which has long played a leading role in building the rules of multilateralism, to deal with an unprecedented crisis that is endangering the health, life and future of millions of people," said the Italian president.

"I am sure that under your Presidency, the United States and Italy - and the entire European Union - will be able to further strengthen the bonds of deep and deep-rooted friendship, in the name of the common values of freedom, justice, democracy, which unite them," said Mattarella.

Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte sent his "congratulations to the American people" and said that Italy is ready to work with President-Elect Joe Biden "to make the transatlantic relationship stronger. The US can count on Italy as a solid Ally and a strategic partner."

Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio also sent his congratulations to Biden, tweeting: "The friendship between Italy and the United States has deep and historical roots. Ready to keep on working to make our relations ever stronger in defense of peace and freedom."

Nicola Zingaretti, the leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico (PD), said that Biden as 46th President of the United States "opens a new season of hope and dialogue not only for America, but for the whole world. A great joy for us Democrats, a message of unity for all progressives."

However the Biden victory was not welcomed by everyone. Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the far-right Fratelli d'Italia, had backed imcumbent US president Donald Trump for re-election.

Meloni told Italian news agency Adnkronos that Biden had "covid to thank" for his victory, saying that if the election had been in February, "Trump would have won without any problems."

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right Lega party, had also actively backed Trump, posting pictures of himself wearing a Trump 2020 election face mask and a "Make American Great Again" hat. In the last few days Salvini sent a series of tweets with messages such as "GO DONALD GO" and  "FORZA DONALD! Love from Italy."

A recent headline in The Independent even described Salvini as "Trump's Italian cheerleader" who was "spreading baseless conspiracy theories over votes" in the US election.

Salvini has so far stayed quiet about Biden's victory however the Lega deputy secretary Giancarlo Giorgetti told SkyTG24: "We were and will remain friends of the United States, also with Biden" while acknowledging that the Lega "certainly had a greater affinity with Trump."