At the meeting, which is expected to take place overnight, the ministers of the governing parties will decide on the adoption of the program for the use of the economic package worth 209 billion euros (75 thousand billion forints). According to preliminary statements, the Five Star Movement (M5S), the Left Democratic Party (IV) and Living Italy also say yes to the final version of the resource allocation, which has been amended several times in recent weeks.
At the same time, politicians and analysts in almost all channels comment directly on possible developments at the meeting. The only consensus is that “unless a miracle happens, this will be the last meeting of the second Conte government,” said Enrico Mentana, editor-in-chief of La7 television. Former Prime Minister Romano Prodi believed, “common sense an unexplained government crisis is taking place in the midst of another wave of pandemics, while the European Union is once again losing confidence in the stability of Italian politics and the economy “.
According to press reports, Living Italy led by Matteo Renzi on Wednesday will realize its repeated threat for weeks, and recalls two ministers and one secretary of state from the government. Renzi announced a press conference on Wednesday, followed by the convening of members of the IV parliament.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will either resign immediately after Living Italy possibly exits and ask the head of state for a re-governmental mandate, or take a higher risk and ask for confidence in parliament, hoping that forces other than Renzi’s party will secure the government’s majority.
The Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party are working to avoid a government crisis. Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, an M5S politician, said it was incomprehensible to the Italian population what was happening. PD Secretary-General Nicola Zingaretti called the outbreak of the crisis a huge blunder, adding that only early elections could be a bigger blow.
In an evening commentary by the editor-in-chief of the daily La Stampa, Massimo Giannini believed that, as usual, Renzi had launched an offensive whose primary goal was not to improve the economic program. “Renzit is driven solely by the political assassination of Conte, not interested in leading the country into a crisis without a way out,” Giannini said.
Analysts have not ruled out that an agreement will eventually be reached between M5S, PD and IV under the leadership of another prime minister, but chances include setting up a government of experts with a deadline.
Giorgia Meloni, the president of the right-wing Italian Brothers (FdI), wrote on the community side that the current governing parties are only interested in not losing their ministerial seats and avoiding the right to win the election. Mariastella Gelmini, leader of the Hajrá Italy (FI) faction, said there was a poker game between Renzi and Conte.
The first government of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who became a law professor, was formed in June 2018 with the participation of the M5S and the right-wing League. The change of government took place in September 2019, when the M5S continued to steer with the left-wing PD, ousting the League. The change was backed by Matteo Renzi, who withdrew from the PD after the formation of the second Conte government and remained in the government with his own micro-party.
Cover image: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is holding a year-end press conference at the Villa Madama residence in Rome on 30 December 2020. Source: MTI / EPA / ANSA / Riccardo Antimiani
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