Government crumbles – Crisis in Italy: Berlusconi looks forward to new elections


It is a crucial week for Italy. Prime Minister Mario Draghi plans to report on the current situation on Wednesday. The question is whether he will announce his final resignation or whether he sees the conditions to remain in office. Social Democrats and the group around Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio are clearly in favour. The right-wing parties Forza Italia under Berlusconi and Lega, on the other hand, already have an eye for new elections. Meanwhile, more than a thousand mayors urged Draghi to stay.

The city leaders demanded that Draghi reconsider his resignation and guide the country through the current difficult times. Among the signatories are the mayors of the major cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. “The government must continue,” they demand. At the same time, they criticize the “irresponsible behavior” of the Five Star Movement, whose demands have caused the current government crisis (see also video above). She continues to demand concessions to remain in the multi-party coalition.

Right-wing parties: government collapsed
Forza Italia boss Silvio Berlusconi and Lega chairman Matteo Salvini already see the coalition broken and want to prepare for new elections. That said the right-wing party leaders Sunday evening after a meeting in Sardinia. Continuing to rule with the left-wing populist Five Star Movement is out of the question because of its “incompetence and unreliability”.

Opinions are divided in the Five Star Movement: a wing around party leader Giuseppe Conte is pushing for a departure from the governing coalition, which would lead to new elections on September 25 or October 2. As a condition of residence, Conte demands, among other things, the guarantee of a legal minimum wage. A more moderate wing around the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Federico D’Incà, is trying to stay in the coalition. An overthrow of the government would bring the reform process to a halt, D’Incà said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs warns against standstill
Foreign Minister Di Maio, who has split from the Five Star Movement, warned of the danger of new elections in Italy if an agreement with the Five Stars was not reached. “If things continue as before, Draghi will resign before parliament on Wednesday,” Di Maio said. If President Sergio Mattarella subsequently dissolves both chambers, there is a risk that important reforms will stall, he said.

Mattarella could also try to create an interim government that will lead the country until the end of the legislature in the spring of 2023. This cabinet would have the explicit task of drafting a budget law for next year and taking measures. against the energy crisis and inflation. If the conditions for establishing a transitional government are not in place, all that remains is new elections.

That could lead to chaos: if the parliament is dissolved in the coming days, Italy would have to deal with elections for the first time in the autumn. But then, as every year, Parliament is busy drafting the budget law. The schedule must be strictly adhered to. The country cannot decide on a budget while the government is being formed, Di Maio warned. The important EU billions for the Corona reconstruction fund are also on the brink. To do this, Italy must first implement certain goals in the form of reforms.

Majority of Italians against new elections
According to a poll in the newspaper La Repubblica, 53 percent of Italians are against early parliamentary elections. 51 percent of those polled are in favor of Prime Minister Mario Draghi remaining in office with a different coalition than the current one. 55.5% believe that if Draghi resigns, an expert government should be established to lead Italy until the end of the legislature in the spring of 2023. “The majority of Italians believe the parties will not have a new prime minister on the level of Draghi,” the report said.

Source: Krone


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