Italy’s prime minister has rebuked criticism she faced for taking her six-year-old daughter to the G20 summit in Indonesia.
Giorgia Meloni brought Ginevra to the summit, where she met US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Ms Meloni was later criticised in an article in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, which read: “Why in these four days that require every mental, physical and emotional energy of a head of state, did Giorgia Meloni choose to take upon herself the load … of a daughter in tow?”
A columnist in La Stampa, another Italian daily newspaper, asked why the far-right leader took her daughter to Bali and said she should have told her: “I’m sorry daughter, but mummy is saving Italy”.
Ms Meloni attacked the “incredible debate” on Facebook, writing: “The question I have to ask the leaders of this passionate debate is: so you think that how my daughter should grow up is your business?
“Because here’s the news: it is not. I have the right to mother as I see fit and I have the right to do all I can for this nation without depriving Ginevra of a mother.
“I hope this answer is enough to get you to deal with more relevant and vague matters of your competence.”
Ms Meloni, Italy’s first female prime minister, considers herself a defender of the “traditional family”.
During her campaign, she unleashed her now-signature line: “I’m Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m a mother, I’m Italian, I’m Christian! You won’t take that away from me!”
Meetings with Biden and Xi
Ms Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots, won the most votes in Italy’s national election in September, but did not win enough votes to govern outright, meaning Ms Meloni had to turn to her right-wing allies Matteo Salvini and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
During the G20 summit China’s President Xi said he hoped Italy would play an important role in helping the European Union’s policy towards Beijing remain “positive” and “independent”.
When she met with US President Biden, the pair discussed continued support for Ukraine, stability in the Mediterranean and their ties with China.