After threatening to withdraw his ministers from the Conte government for several weeks, Matteo Renzi crossed the Rubicon on Wednesday evening. During a press conference, the former President of the Council announced that his small centrist party Italia Viva (3% in the polls), which he created after his departure from the Democratic party, no longer supported the executive. not least because of disagreements over economic policy.
On paper, Giuseppe Conte therefore no longer has a majority in Parliament. The voices of the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the left are indeed not sufficient to guarantee a continuation of the government experiment. “A crisis would certainly not be understood by the country”, Giuseppe Conte said shortly before Matteo Renzi’s intervention. And this while the peninsula is facing a dramatic health situation (more than 80,000 dead since the start of the pandemic) and an economic recession. “Faced with the epidemic crisis, the sense of responsibility consists above all in seeking to solve the problems and not in hiding them”, retorted Matteo Renzi to justify his decision to leave the government before shooting red balls on the management of Giuseppe Conte: “Italy has the highest death toll [en Europe, ndlr], the lowest economic growth and the highest number of lost school days. “
If he admitted that, under his pressure, the government had corrected his copy on the use of European funds for economic recovery (“Less tax rebates, more investments”), Matteo Renzi continued to insist that Italy use the European Solidarity Mechanism (ESM) which could enable it to obtain 37 billion euros in additional loans for the health sector. But so far, the M5S, which has not yet resolved all ambiguities regarding its European positioning, has opposed it. “Not taking these funds for an ideological reason is irresponsible”, criticized Matteo Renzi who also blames Giuseppe Conte for concentrating power by governing by decree-law.
For now, the latter has not completely given up on stitching up the threads of his majority and has offered to discuss a legislative pact. But reworking with Matteo Renzi now appears difficult.
Giuseppe Conte could find support in the center-right to substitute the votes of Italia Viva, but that seems unlikely for the moment. There remains the option of a new government with the same majority but without Giuseppe Conte (to the great satisfaction of Matteo Renzi), or even an executive of a grand coalition or national unity. League leader Matteo Salvini has also said he is ready to examine a government of this type which would be headed by former President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi.
Nevertheless, the right and the far right are pushing above all for a return to the polls while together, they are given winners in the polls. But it is precisely this perspective that forges Matteo Renzi’s conviction that the left and the 5 Star Movement (in free fall in the polls) will ultimately want to find a solution with him.
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