SCENARIO / The silences that open to Mattarella’s encore

The appointment of January 24 is approaching, when Parliament will meet in joint session to elect the new head of state. At the moment, the only official candidate on the field remains Berlusconi. Draghi, in his last press conference on Monday relating to the latest measures taken to counter the spread of infections from Covid, immediately preferred to announce his desire not to answer any kind of question about the Quirinale, but in his words there was still a clear political message. As the former director of the Sole 24 Ore, Guido Gentili, «the Premier has repeatedly recalled the constitutive element at the base of his Government: national unity. He defended the Executive’s activity by explaining that unanimity was always sought on important matters and this explains the agreements, which he did not define compromises, which were found on the various measures ».

Does this mean that, if he were not elected to the Quirinale, he could remain in Palazzo Chigi without problems?

No. In my opinion, Draghi has put a stake in his words: he feels closely tied to the national unity government. He then made it clear, as he had done in the press conference at the end of the year, that a smaller majority, for example the Ursula coalition, for him it would not be good.

The parties, when they ask Draghi to stay at Palazzo Chigi, seem to want to confirm this experience of national unity. Beyond the declarations, is there an effective will to move forward?

In my view, beyond all the gossip, the reason that pushes the parties to ask Draghi to stay at Palazzo Chigi is the fear that otherwise we could go to early elections. Apart from Meloni, nobody really wants them, not even Salvini. To avoid them, a government is needed and that of national unity already exists and can stay on track more easily for a year.

Would we need some sort of end-of-term pact?

Certain. Also because without early elections, the vote would still take place within a year. There would therefore be strong pressure from the parties and Draghi is perhaps the only person who could guarantee that measures that are not totally electoral drift are taken in the last months of the legislature. This, however, means finding a parallel solution for the Quirinale that guarantees the work of the Prime Minister. And in the face of the current impasse it is automatic to think that if Draghi is to remain at Palazzo Chigi, probably the best solution is that even those who entrusted him with that type of task, with that type of majority, namely Mattarella, stay in place.

This impasse also seems to depend on the position taken by Berlusconi.

Until a few days ago one could think that his was a flag candidacy, but precisely the declarations that arrived almost simultaneously with Draghi’s press conference and the interview with Corriere della Sera of today’s Tajani (yesterday for the reader, ed) show how determined Berlusconi is. However, it cannot be forgotten that the center-left’s response to his candidacy is a sharp no.

Which leads us to think that his election would not automatically allow him to leave Draghi at Palazzo Chigi …

When Berlusconi is not elected on the basis of a very large share, but by a smaller majority than the one that has supported the Government up to now, this would constitute a problem since Draghi has made it clear that he is linked to this experience of unity. national.

Is there some sort of clash between Berlusconi and Draghi? In fact, the first slows down the ascent to the Colle of the second, who, with his latest statements, seems to do the same …

Frankly I don’t know if there is this clash. We know that, although apparently on the advice of Gianni Letta, it is with Berlusconi in the government that Draghi first went to head the Bank of Italy and then the ECB. There has therefore always been talk of a good personal relationship between the two. Certainly today there does not seem to be that harmony that we saw less than a year ago in the images of their very cordial meeting which took place in the phase of the talks that preceded the formation of the executive. Objectively, that climate seems to no longer exist.

It is difficult to think that Berlusconi does not know that he has little chance of being truly elected without this having major repercussions. In your opinion, what strategy do you have in mind?

It was said that a possible strategy of Berlusconi was to take a step back to become the kingmaker of the operation to bring Draghi to the Quirinale, but after his latest statements it is a hypothesis that must be removed from the table. So I don’t know what he may have in mind. Perhaps the strategy could be to defer to the possibility that Mattarella can be re-elected. In fact, there remains the option that takes the chestnuts off the fire of all politics, a way to avoid the stalemate in which it risks ending up. I believe that Salvini too, if he wants to avoid the early vote, is ready to open an encore from Mattarella.

Can the silence on the part of the center left help in this, where official names are not yet made?

It seems to me that silence matters a lot in this game. For example, Enrico Letta, interviewed by Republic, said he would feel sad the day Mattarella were to leave the Quirinale. He was then asked if he would be happy with his stay at the Colle and he replied: “I’ll stop here”. This is a silence with a very important implication. Like the one mentioned in recent days by Marzio Breda, dean of the quirinalists, interviewed by Tomorrow. In fact, he explained that he had raised the question of a possible encore for Mattarella. “If the pandemic were to become an emergency again, if the political framework were to pulp, could you refuse? I have gathered an eloquent silence, ”said Breda. Silences therefore count and it is no coincidence that the game is still open.

The Mattarella-bis solution would also help with respect to the series of measures, including the new refreshments and the measures against expensive bills, which are now put on standby by the Quirinale race and which risk substantially postponing by a month if a President with a narrow majority?

There is no doubt. Also because, as I said in a previous interview, Mattarella’s election should take place on the first ballot. Draghi, in the press conference on Monday, was very cautious in answering questions about new budget variances. Apart from the tax reform and the open discussion with the trade unions on the pension reform, there are very strong requests from companies both for the issue of energy costs and for state guarantees on bank loans, but in recent days also Minister Franco, evidently in agreement with the Premier, he made it clear that before the vote of the head of state there will be no other binding decrees with large budget differences, after those already made in the last two years. It is therefore clear that a solution of continuity would make everything more fluid. Also because if the new President were elected by a small majority, a sort of verification would be opened with Draghi himself since he himself has made it clear that he is linked to this majority.

How long does it take to come to an agreement on Mattarella’s name?

If the situation were still blocked as today, even on the eve of January 24th. It would also become an option appreciated by public opinion in the face of the Omicron emergency instead of disputes and cross-party vetoes.

Doesn’t the fact that at the beginning of the year a group of M5 Senators asked Mattarella for an encore “burn” his name?

I do not believe. That request should be considered more as linked to the internal events of the 5 Star Movement, where it is still not clear what the direction of travel is in terms of leadership.

(Lorenzo Torrisi)

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