The Italian president Mattarella wants Italy’s 5-Star Movement and the center-left pro-Brussels Democratic Party to start negotiations last weekend to form a new government following the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Italy’s president, Sergio Mattarella, gave the country’s political factions until Tuesday to conclude consultations on the formation of a new government.
The objective is not merely to form a government that will approve the new budget law, which would avert a major confrontation with Brussels, but a cabinet that will last until the next scheduled general election in 2023, squeezing Lega out of the equation?
The Democratic Party of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has accepted a demand by the leftist/populist 5-Star Movement that the number of parliamentarians in both houses will be cut from 945 to 600.
The latter is the senior partner in a ruling coalition that includes Italy’s most popular political Lega party, Matteo Salvini‘s Lega.
Changing the voting system to please Brussels has nothing to do with democracy this way, leaving the biggest party out hanging to dry?
The two recently split over a series of policy differences including the budget and how to work with the European Institutions on a whole range of issues from illegal immigration to Italy’s debt-to-GDP.
5-Star also wants to introduce a “conflict of interest” law, reform the country’s public broadcaster RAI, and bolster the minimum wage.
In exchange for its support, the centrist Democratic Party appears willing to entertain 5-Star’s policy agenda, while also putting forward its own priorities when it comes to migration policy and electoral law.
The Democrats’ leader, Nicola Zingaretti, is said to be advocating for the restoration of 100% proportional representation in the Italian Senate.
Both 5-Star and the Democratic Party want to avoid a VAT hike worth €23 billion, but it remains unclear whether or not the new government would take a confrontational stance, vis-à-vis Brussels, when it comes to the deficit.
However, the two parties, which had been rivals until earlier this summer, appear to disagree on who would take over as prime minister.
The Democratic Party’s leadership met in Rome at the weekend to discuss its negotiating position, with Zingaretti making it clear that the two sides remain far apart on the key issue of who would be the country’s next prime minister.
5-Star favors holding on to resigned Conte – who is widely regarded as an independent technocrat who is not connected to any political faction – but Zingaretti’s Democrats want a new government under a new leader.
A recently published opinion poll suggests that 5-Star’s national popularity currently stands at an all-time low of just over 16%, less than half the support they enjoyed when first heading the government 14 months ago.
After being trounced by Lega and 5-Star in June of last year, the Democratic Party has seen its fortune shift dramatically over the last year and is now polling nationally at roughly 24%.
Both parties, however, need to appease the global financial markets by choosing an acceptable candidate to become the next prime minister before forging ahead with a bold budget plan.
Zingaretti would like to see former Justice Minister Paola Severino or Constitutional Court Vice President Marta Cartabia take the post. If either is successful in securing the nomination, Severino or Cartabia would become Italy’s first woman prime minister.
Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio – still hopes to take the country’s top job, himself, without having to consult with his partner-turned-rival, Salvini, Italy’s most popular politician.
Since he withdrew his party’s support for the Conte government, Salvini has called for snap elections.
In a last-ditch attempt to salvage the relationship between Lega and 5-Star, Salvini proposed a new coalition government that would be led by Di Maio, saying the latter has worked well and in the interests of this country.
If he wants to relaunch the government and relaunch the country we (Lega) are ready to work with him.
Di Maio has not commented on Salvini’s overture and isn’t expected to back a new coalition with Lega.
In the last several days, 5-Star has made every indication that it is willing to compromise its anti-establishment base in favor of a partnership with the staunchly pro-Brussels Democratic Party.
New Europe / ABC Flash Point News 2019.