Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visits Algeria for gas. AFP photo
Suffocated and thirsty by the African heatwaves reaching more than 40 degrees this week and with the worst drought in memory, Italians continue to be confused by the government crisis that led to the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. carried forward this Monday with strong support from world leaders and entire sectors of national life that ask him to stay.
The prime minister resigned last Thursday in front of the Senate after one of the ruling parties refused to vote his confidence, despite Mario Draghi getting the approval of the upper house in the final result. The President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, rejected him and sent the government to the chambers for a debate to be held next Wednesday.
Italy is a country with a parliamentary system. In the elections we vote for deputies and senators. The President of the Republic is elected in Parliament, where even governments are born and die.
Draghi is an economist who was president of the European Central Bank and he decided to lead a national unity government fifteen months ago with ministers of all parties except Brothers of Italy, far right, chosen by the opposition.
US President Joe Biden supports Mario Draghi. photo EFE
The coalition that, together with the right, centrist and left, has given luster to Draghi’s status as an international statesman, but it was inevitable that as the June 2023 deadline for voting in general elections to renew Parliament approached, the parties began to fight each other in the struggle for the votes and divide.
In the 2018 elections, two populist parties gathered the largest number of deputies and senators. The one that got the most votes was the 5 Star Movement. The other is the Lega led by Matteo Salvini.
Both populist forces have been exhausted in the past two years.
The role of the 5 stars
The 5 Star Movement has already suffered several internal bleeding and is currently led by the lawyer Giuseppe Conte, who was president of the council of two governments in the years of dominance in which the two populist parties first ruled together and then faced each other.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s decision to resign has produced an explosion of reactions. Abroad, by US President Joe Biden and European leaders they sang a chorus of praise and asked him to agree to remain in office in the months leading up to next year’s general elections.
The former Italian Prime Minister and leader of the 5 Star Movement, Giuseppe Conte. AP photo
In Italy, more than a thousand mayors have signed support for Draghithe same of the university rectors, of the social movements, led by the Catholic Action, while the union leaders stressed that the demands need a government with all its negotiating powers.
The mayors of large cities, such as Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples and Palermo, said that “in a historical moment like the one in which we live, Italy cannot remain without an authorized guide and as safe as that of Prime Minister Mario Draghi ”.
The general impression was that Draghi did not want to continue in office, having uttered several Basta! which seemed definitive. He sees growing disputes between ruling parties that would erode his prestige and harm the effectiveness of the government.
The outlook is difficult because the pandemic continues with over 170 thousand dead and 20 million infected The Russian invasion of Ukraine has followed since 2020, a recovery program with European funds worth 200 billion dollars must be administered and economic, financial and social problems multiply.
The leader of the Italian right, Matteo Salvini. photo EFE
In thirty years the salaries decreased by 3% while in France and Germany they grew by 39%.
Draghi spent this Monday in Algiers, the capital of Algeria, where he signed a new agreement under which Italy will receive another four billion megawatts of gas.
Algeria, connected to the peninsula by a gas pipeline, becomes the first methane supplier in Italyas announced by Draghi.
Dependence on Russia, which was 40%, drops to 25%. And the Italians hope that in the coming months other agreements will be signed that will allow them in a year reduce dependence on Russia to zero.
Algeria has become Italy’s first trading partner. Three hundred peninsular companies have established themselves in the Arab country. A Business Forum between the two countries began this Monday to intensify economic cooperation between the two countries.
Draghi returned from Algiers with a victory in hand, because this Tuesday he will have to prepare his speech in front of Parliament on Wednesday.
On this day, interest has focused on stormy controversy via the Internet between deputies and senators of the 5 Star Movement.
Part of the deputies respond to the leader Giuseppe Conte and are in favor of voting on Draghi on Wednesday. But it is not known how many there are. It is estimated that if they reach 30-40 their dissidence will lead to an immediate break and a probable incorporation into the new party formed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, with 60 other 5-star deputies and senators.
The intense power plays are important because Prime Minister Draghi would agree to continue only until the end of the current legislature. if it manages to weaken the 5 Star Movement and its boss Giuseppe Contewho presented a nine-point plan with changes in the government’s strategy and called for “concrete answers”.
If you go straight to the early political elections, at the end of September or on the first Sunday of October, the right could win a decisive victory with 47% of the voteleaving far behind the center-left led by the Democratic Party, which would reach 38%.
Within the center-right coalition there is a rivalry between Giorgia Meloni, leader of Fratelli d’Italia, a solitary opposition party, and the populist Matteo Salvini.
Salvini hit a 34.5% popularity index four years ago, but in current polls up to 15%. The third member of the alliance is Forza Italia, the party of four-time former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, with 8%.
Berlusconi arrived in Rome after seven months to take direct control of his party and the coalition itself. It will not be easy because Giorgia Meloni, who is the favorite in all the polls with 23% of the votes, avoid getting caught by the Salvini-Berlusconi duo.
Meloni has always been in favor of early elections. Now Berlusconi has convinced Salvini that the time is ideal to help bring down the Draghi government. Of course without saying it, because the entrepreneurs and many inhabitants of the rich north of Italy support the current government and vote for Lega Salvini or Forza Italia.