The duel between Luigi Di Maio and Giuseppe Conte frightens the Movement and the Draghi government

Luigi Di Maio and Giuseppe Conte hate each other. To the point that at the first line Conte jumps and already meditates rectification: he cannot accept that his coat of arms as prime minister – twice, almost three times net of conspiracies – comes after “Giggino”. Well, we correct ourselves. Giuseppe Conte and Luigi Di Maio hate each other. And here unfolds a very human and very narcissistic story that develops around the remains of the Five Stars after the schism with Davide Casaleggio’s Rousseau platform. With Di Maio doing to Conte, “please take a seat” and Conte doing to Di Maio, “thank you, it’s already my stuff.” But one needs the other: Luigi is a shareholder in a torn party, Giuseppe is the holder of saving popularity. Count the boss and Di Maio the former boss. The immature politician and the mature young man. It was not clear who Agilulfo is and who Rambaldo is, like the rivals in Italo Calvino’s fantastic novel “The non-existent knight”. And then matchmakers, teammates, coaches, inspirers. Funny too if Mario Draghi’s government weren’t involved, wrapped in multiple layers of institutional protection, but with a single internal opponent. Yes, that’s right: Giuseppe Conte himself. The five-star parliamentarians, in excessive surplus, frightened by any possible recourse to the elections, witnessed dismayed the legal dispute between the expected Count and the outcast Casaleggio to grab the codes and profiles of Rousseau members. So politics is reduced to quibbles and the party that promised to change Italy discovers that the biggest annoyance, when you separate, is changing your passwords.

The mentor Guido Alpa, who has returned to whisper to Giuseppe with more insistence, is convinced: if it were not for the money, the resources and the structure, Conte could found a party, new, clean, his own. It costs, and there is no time. Conte is in a hurry to capitalize on the theoretical consensus attributed to him by the polls and that the older the memory of the night press conferences, of the outbursts against Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, of the meticulous and serial decrees of the President of the Council of Ministers, the legendary “dpcm “. Di Maio is in no hurry, he is the Foreign Minister who sits to the right of Draghi in Palazzo Chigi and stands there, among the marbles of the Farnesina, observing the sobbing advent of Conte in the Five Stars. There are municipal votes to be addressed: if Conte wants to try it, Di Maio is happy about it.

Conte needs a party to show himself up and run, but to run he needs Draghi’s government to shut down by next spring. The most threatening plan foresees that the Five Stars, punished in the polls in October and handed over to Joseph, withdraw the ministers from the government during the white semester (when the Chambers cannot be dissolved) which begins in August and ends in February with the designation. of the heir of Sergio Mattarella at the Quirinale. However, Conte only controls one minister, so he soon needs a formal assignment in the Five Stars, a precise mandate to negotiate in the center-left, to be received by Draghi and gain the limelight in the newspapers and on television. At the moment there is a bit of ostentatious nervousness.

Stefano Patuanelli, Minister of Agriculture

Count Stefano Patuanelli, Minister of Agriculture, frequently resigns. Nobody has noticed it yet because finally it holds back, resists and gives up. She plays the delicate and refined role of Renziana Teresa Bellanova, who in the same ministry lived for a long time clinging to the emergency handle until one day she really took the exit and destroyed the Conte II government. At that time Patuanelli was at the Ministry for Economic Development, he was already a five-star so secular that he no longer appeared a five-star. To say, everywhere he proposed Marcella Panucci for a cadrega, the former general manager of Confindustria now head of the cabinet of Minister Renato Brunetta at the Public Administration. And his management of the television market was highly appreciated by Mediaset. Patuanelli tried in vain to recruit refugees from Forza Italia to support the Giallorossi government, but he failed and, together with Mario Turco, Rocco Casalino and Alfonso Bonafede, he remains nostalgic, and immovable, next to Giuseppe. Nostalgia is a rogue emotion. For the Greeks it was literally the “pain of returning”. Something treacherous for politicians.

Matteo Salvini stops in Pizzo to have breakfast with an ice cream and a brioche, in a photo posted on Facebook


Every time Draghi removes one of his followers, Conte suffers, agitates, protests. And Draghi pretends it’s involuntary, a coincidence. It happened with Domenico Arcuri extraordinary commissioner for the pandemic, with Gennaro Vecchione director of the department that coordinates the intelligence agencies (Dis), with Piero Benassi undersecretary for the secret services for two weeks, with Fabrizio Palermo at Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (Cdp), with the emptying of the anti-corruption Authority (Anac) chaired by Giuseppe Busia. On the contrary Di Maio adapts. And he succeeds with a rare skill as he demonstrated by participating in three different governments in three years or with the turn against justicialism that embarrassed Conte. The Foreign Minister defended Palermo in the CDP to honor the choice he made when he was in government with the League, then he gave it up to the inevitable fate when Conte was still clamoring and yet he was not even involved in the decisions of three years ago . Di Maio went further: he made the appointment of Luigi Ferraris as managing director to Ferrovie dello Stato, even if he hardly knew him, and somewhat awkwardly he supported Paolo Scaroni as president of FS because he was a dear friend of Draghi. And while Conte mulled over the purges of his former collaborators, Di Maio struck out for the promotions of those who welcomed him and weaned him at the Farnesina: Elisabetta Belloni from secretary general to head of Dis, Ettore Sequi from head of cabinet to successor of Belloni .

Except for Patuanelli, Conte’s mourners in government are already extinct. Federico D’Incà, Minister for Relations with Parliament, belonging to the current of Roberto Fico, was an unknown admirer, even to himself, of Professor Draghi. Even Minister Fabiana Dadone has adapted. Fico was providential in putting Draghi in contact with Beppe Grillo and, after several disagreements, he got closer to Di Maio. The former prime minister has the support of most of the famous faces of the Five Stars, he is the savior they have been calling for for weeks. Conte has a large reserve of popularity useful both to Paola Taverna and Luigi Di Maio and with caution he unmarked himself from Grillo, after the comedian meddled in the investigation for rape concerning his son Ciro, but it is increasingly clinging to a very small group of parliamentarians and advisers. The former prime minister still thinks of himself as a federator of the center-left, a modern Romano Prodi, only that neither the leaders of the Democratic Party nor the secretary Enrico Letta agree unlike when the couple Nicola Zingaretti and Goffredo Bettini commanded the Nazarene.

Instead Di Maio removed any ideological constraint. He even resumed making calls with Matteo Salvini. Once you have tasted the most surprising political combinations, nothing, absolutely nothing, should be ruled out for the future of the Five Stars. The paradox is that Salvini is Conte’s best ally – of course, they deeply hate each other too – but the League also wants the vote in the spring. Di Maio has plowed more fields with his Doroteo approach: he has connections in Forza Italia with Gianni Letta and Mara Carfagna, in the League with Giancarlo Giorgetti and Massimiliano Fedriga, in the Democratic Party with Lorenzo Guerini and Dario Franceschini. He often hears the entrepreneurs Urbano Cairo and Diego Della Valle. And he brought to the Farnesina, as a consultant free of charge, the business lawyer Stefano Simontacchi of the Bonelli Erede firm as well as a member of the board of directors of RCS in Cairo. Today inside the Five Stars there is little, if not a lot of contradictions. Di Maio knows how they got there. Conte does not imagine it. Di Maio is waiting for Conte’s ideas. There is a risk that Patuanelli, confused, takes his things and leaves. And then the government escapes us. Or at least some healthy movement.

Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by

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