Italy’s parliament met for the first time Thursday since the far-right won elections last month, a rocky first step in the process of forming a government, with tensions running high. Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, which has neo-fascist roots, secured a historic 26 percent of the vote in September 25 polls. But she can only form a government with her fractious allies, Matteo Salvini, head of the far-right League, and former premier Silvio Berlusconi, founder of right-wing Forza Italia. The three leaders have been tussling over the formation of a cabinet able to manage the myriad of challenges facing the eurozone’s third-largest economy, notably soaring inflation and an energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine. Tempers frayed as members of the Senate and lower house voted for new speakers, who will play a key role in consultations on the creation of the next government. “We are ready, don’t worry,” Meloni told journalists ahead of the secret ballots, widely seen as a test of the right-wing parties’ ability to cooperate. But the Stampa daily said the right was in “chaos”, with Salvini and Berlusconi, whose parties secured nine and eight percent of the vote respectively, demanding their picks of key cabinet posts. A visibly frustrated Berlusconi was seen slamming his desk in anger at his seat in the Senate. The 86-year-old billionaire media mogul, re-elected nine years after being expelled from the Senate for tax fraud, was eventually persuaded to cast his ballot. The rest of his party, bar one, abstained. In a media statement afterwards, Berlusconi said there had been “deep annoyance” in his party over vetoes expressed in recent days over candidates for ministerial appointments. “We hope that these vetoes will be overcome, giving way to a loyal and effective cooperation with the other forces of the majority,” he said. The government, set to be Italy’s most right-wing since World War II, is expected to be in place by the end of the month. The opening of parliament was overseen in the Senate by Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre, the only member of her family to emerge alive from the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp. Segre, 92, underlined the “symbolic value” of her presence just days ahead of “the centenary of the March on Rome, which was the beginning of the fascist dictatorship”. On October 28, 1922, dictator Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirts marched into the Italian capital shortly before he took power. A couple of hours after Segre’s speech, the Senate elected as speaker Ignazio La Russa, a member of Meloni’s party and veteran of Italy’s post-fascist movement known for collecting Mussolini memorabilia. Meloni hailed the election of a man she described as a “patriot”, while Berlusconi and Salvini also sent congratulations. The vote for speaker of the lower house could go into Friday. The speakers will take part in discussions with President Sergio Mattarella, who is expected to nominate as prime minister Meloni — the first woman to take the job in Italy. Brothers of Italy has no experience of government — it won just four percent of the vote in 2018 general elections — but Meloni has sought to reassure investors she can handle the pressure. No firm name has yet to emerge for finance minister, the most important government post after prime minister as debt-laden Italy grapples with sky-high prices weighing heavily on households and businesses. Italy has also been racing to reduce its dependence on gas from Russia, which the West has accused of deliberately shutting off supplies as part of the stand-off over the war in Ukraine. The International Monetary Fund this week predicted the pressures would push Italy into recession next year, alongside Germany.