Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini’s girlfriend, former model and current TV presenter Elisa Isoardi, took to Instagram on Monday to announce that she was breaking up with him.
She marked the end of their three-year relationship by posting a savory picture showing the couple enjoying happier times, with her donning a fluffy white gown with her naked knee showing in the background, and a half-naked Matteo apparently kissing her on the neck. The caption sounds a bit high-flown, with Elisa borrowing some line from an Italian contemporary poet, but the message couldn’t be clearer:
“It’s not what we have given each other that I will miss but what we still had to give each other,” Ms. Isoardi wrote, citing a contemporary Italian poet. “With immense respect for the true love that there was, thank you Matteo.”
Many of Elisa’s fellow citizens took the move as crass and way too blatant, in light of the high-profile role Salvini takes in the country.
“Salvini is a minister. You could have avoided posting the photograph,” a woman commented on Instagram, her stance being echoed in other comments, including on Twitter.
“Does it seem normal to you that this person publishes a selfie to announce on social media the end of her relationship with a government minister? Our institutions have lost everything – values, principles and now dignity,” one woman tweeted.
“Elisa, haven’t you been taught any discretion? Where will we end up then?” another Italian commenter chimed in.
Some demonstrated a more belligerent approach, vocally expressing their outrage at the handling of the news:
“Who are you to publish a photo with a minister? You left him after successfully becoming a cooking show host. Without him, you would be selling cheese, and thanks to Matteo you are where you now,” another quipped.
The news arrived as Salvini hit the road to Ghana to negotiate migration and how to prevent West Africans from trying to cross into Europe through Libya.
Since coming to power in June as a leading member of the populist coalition, Mr. Salvini has been on a roll with his attacks on multiculturalism and illegal migration, on migrant rescue boats in the Mediterranean and the right-wing, highly patriotic “Italians First” slogan. He has essentially managed to double national support for his party, the anti-immigration League, from 17% to 34%.