Italy has been in an economic recession for nine months now with popular protests that are spreading throughout the country, against the enormous increase in prices due to the crisis in energy products. Giorgia Meloni prepares her new government with a beating drum which should take office at the end of the month, after the inauguration of the new Parliament, Thursday 13.
The rites and mechanisms in this country under parliamentary regime could delay the vote of confidence of the Chamber and Senate until the first week of November, which will put the new government led by Meloni in office.
This inevitable slowness in an emergency situation makes the climate more nervous because a Treasury note predicts “slightly negative growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2022”. These two red quarters are enough to determine the so-called technical recession.
The scenario envisaged by Daniel Franco’s Ministry of Economy is more gloomy: the first quarter of 2023 was also negativeaccording to the latest projections.
The difficult (northern) winter will be even more difficult, as is the case throughout Europe.
Within a year, it was learned this Monday, the government of economist Mario Draghi, still in charge of news, injected 66 billion dollars for contain the increases and help consumers and businesses as poverty grows and the threat of closing down thousands of businesses that cannot afford their bills.
The coup of the war and the gas bill
It all stems from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, which created a uncontrollable gas price crisiswith repercussions from electricity tariffs and prices in general for products that use energy.
The director of the Italian oil and gas giant, Eni, Claudio Descalzi, said that “it is difficult to have confidence in the coming winter, prices are very high and there are variables that cannot be controlled”.
Descalzi also stated that it is necessary to guarantee 100% of the reserves (currently at 94%), to “overcome the winter peaks” of supplies.
The country is preparing for measures to reduce the intensity of emissions to households and companies for the distribution of gas, electricity and petroleum products. But also to rationing if supplies cannot be met with reservations.
Towards the end of the year there will be a slight contraction of the attributable Gross Domestic Product first to the industrial sector ”, informs an official document.
At the end of the year, thanks to the performance of the first half, the economy will still achieve virtuous growth of 3.3%.
It is expected that after the extension of the recession to the first quarter of next year, the country will be hooked “to the recovery that will be driven by the increase in world demand, the drop in gas prices and the contribution of the Recovery Plan, endowed with 200 billion dollars from the European Union.
In the next nine months the wind of the economic recession will blow strongly due to the slowdown in world tradethe depreciation of the euro, the rise in the price of oil and gas and the rise in interest rates.
Eni administrator Claudio Descalzi said that gas supplies from Russia are still “essential” for Italy. This is 10% of the total supplies. Before the war, the country was 46% dependent on Russian gas.
Challenges for the future government
Giorgia Meloni is at the center of the stage with the consultations to form the new government. With Prime Minister Draghi “dialogue is continuous”, according to a source from his Brothers of Italy party.
Although Giorgia led Draghi to the only opposition party during the alliance of all the others in the government of national unity, her relationship with the still Prime Minister has always been cordial on a personal level and this facilitates an essential harmony between the head of the government who goes and what comes, now that the potatoes are burning.
Right now he has to put together a ministerial cabinet with more “politicians” than “technicians”. His main problems are not generated by the opposition: with the center-left Democratic Party in open agony, reduced to 18.6% of the votes, which may not survive the defeat on Sunday 25 September, the conflicts do not come from that side.
The most difficult immediate questions are generated by the two partners of the center-right alliance. In first place Matteo Salvini, lousy Lega pilot, precipitated by his mistakes to a paltry 9%, converted into a worse 8.2% according to a post-electoral poll known this Tuesday. Meloni, on the other hand, reached 26.8%.
The other partner is Silvio Berlusconi, head of Forza Italia, who survived the Meloni wave in the parliamentary elections by keeping 8.3%.
Both seek positions at the forefront of effective power, including key ministries.
Salvini, despite the electoral disaster that made him lose three million votes, most of which went to inflate Meloni’s performance, wanted the Ministry of the Interior, which Giorgia is not willing to grant him because in 2018, when Salvini took that wallet, started a task of strict control of illegal immigrants and in favor of security measures it would make it the center of an ongoing dispute.
Salvini has to settle for another ministry. He now he wants to do a super-ministry of agriculture. The League is a movement that was born in the developed regions of northern Italy, with a large industrial production but also a strong agricultural activity.
Meloni will probably have to make sure his partners are close and would appoint Vice Premier of the Lega and Forza Italia. The two names would be those of Salvini and Antonio Tajani, Berlusconi’s right-hand man who has done a great job as president of the European Parliament.
Tajani also holds executive positions, as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The figure of Matteo Salvini dominates the scene. Many consider him, they write in the newspapers, “the boy who gets drunk at parties and creates problems and nobody wants to invite” or “the elephant in the bazaar”. Whoever was the most popular politician four years ago is worn and insulated.
They reproach him for not having made at least one self-criticism after such a bad choice. The president of Confindustria, the powerful corporation of Italian industrialists, also concluded it a few days ago.
Before a hearing of industrialists from the north, its president, Carlo Bonomi, asked that the “very few” claims to impose a flat tax (a flat tax) and a pension reform, two workhorses that Salvini rode in the election campaign.
It was a blow to the heart that no doubt coincides with the internal maneuvers in the League, to which the governors of the great northern regions, such as Lombardy and Veneto, belong, to downsize and replace the leadership of Salvini, who desperately clings to the chair of power. He is not willing to give up and will fight.