Italy’s Prime Minister Conte must avoid new elections

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte

If the non-party Conte wants to prevent new elections, he must quickly find new supporters in parliament. Italia Viva provides 25 of the 630 parliamentarians in the lower house and 18 of the 315 senators.

(Photo: Reuters)

Rom Matteo Renzi has to endure a lot of malice on Twitter. Under the hashtag #Renzivergogna (in German: Renzi Schande), the 46-year-old is shown either as a riot in the US Capitol or as a baby with building blocks – which are not from Lego, but from “L’ego” – Italian for “the ego “.

The former prime minister has dominated Italian politics for weeks: with threats, ultimatums and personal attacks on his successor Giuseppe Conte. It is still a mystery what the leader of the dwarf party Italia Viva actually wants. What is clear is only what he does not want: to continue to support the current government. On Wednesday evening, Renzi dropped his political bomb – and withdrew his two ministers from the cabinet after the dispute over EU aid. In the middle of the health crisis, which has already caused almost 80,000 corona deaths, Renzi is now giving the country a political one.

The current situation is difficult to convey to the Italian people. According to a survey by the polling institute Ipsos, 46 percent of citizens do not understand the government crisis. 73 percent of those surveyed believe that Renzi is only pursuing his personal interests – or those of his party. Just 13 percent think that the ex-prime minister is acting in the interests of the country.

The senator from Florence was right in his criticism of the content: Italy’s first draft for the EU reconstruction fund was not very ambitious, included too many old projects, and had no clear focus on investments. The new version that the cabinet decided after Renzi’s Christmas threats is definitely the better one. Renzi could have booked that as a success. But he bit into the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the billions of which he wanted to tap for the health system. It was clear from the start that the co-governing five-star movement would not move away from its no to the ESM.

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Right block at 46 percent

Prime Minister Conte now has to find a new majority in both chambers of parliament. Even if there are MPs there who do not belong to any parliamentary group, some opposition politicians are likely to be needed for an “alliance of those responsible”. Alternatively, there is already speculation about a non-partisan government of experts, which President Sergio Mattarella could convene.

If none of these scenarios work, the country would face new elections. The opposition is already scratching its feet. According to a survey on Monday, which the TV broadcaster “La7” commissioned, the right-wing populist Lega around former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini would be the strongest force in parliament with 23 percent. Even the right-wing national Fratelli d’Italia would get 17 percent more votes than the five-star rating. In addition, there would be around six percent of Silvio Berlusconi’s conservative Forza Italia. With a total of 46 percent, the way is not far to a right-wing majority.

That would not be good news for Europe and the world. Under Conte, the country has shown itself to be a reliable partner. The non-party lawyer appeared as a persistent negotiator vis-à-vis Brussels, especially in the dispute over the Corona development fund. Nevertheless, he was always pro-European, emphasizing several times that Europe owed the historic opportunity to be able to redesign the country with the many billions.

In the right-wing bloc, on the other hand, there are EU skeptics like Salvini, who has already proclaimed the “Italexit” based on the British model and railed against migrants, plus a party leader in Fratelli leader Giorgia Meloni who has never officially distanced herself from fascism. The ray of hope in this trio would then actually be an 84-year-old political warrior whose party demands more political competencies for Europe and works with the CDU in the EU Parliament: Silvio Berlusconi.

More: Matteo Renzi’s party withdraws from the government. Why the center-left coalition broke up.


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So it is with Trump’s lawsuit machine

New York Lawsuits, fraud allegations and the recounting of votes: Donald Trump and his supporters are trying by all means to invalidate Joe Biden’s election victory. The latest maneuver: The Trump election campaign team is now relying on the parliaments of the states of Pennsylvania and Michigan to intervene to overturn the result of the presidential election.

The Republican MPs, who hold a majority in both state parliaments, are apparently to be persuaded to vote for the respective state elector directly and in Trump’s favor.

At the same time, the allegations by Trump’s legal team are becoming increasingly obscure. For example, Trump’s chief lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed on Thursday that Trump had actually won the important state of Pennsylvania by 300,000 votes and the state of Michigan by 50,000.

Among other things, ballot papers were scanned several times. “I think it is a logical conclusion that there was a joint plan that emanated directly from the Democratic Party and its candidate,” said Giuliani, also questioning the computerized vote counting system.

How exactly does the Trump team argue, and what are the chances of the legal actions? An overview.

1. What are the lines of argument?

There are three main lines of argument: the accusation of electoral fraud and electoral influence, the contestation of the change in postal voting rights and, thirdly, the demand that the votes be counted.

Electoral fraud and electoral influence

Trump officials claim that in many places people voted who were not allowed to vote or that Trump supporters did not come to vote. Among other things, they cited an example in which an allegedly deceased voter cast his vote. It’s about the case of James Blalock in Georgia. Blalock is indeed dead. But his wife chose by his – not her – name what is legal in Georgia. The action was therefore dismissed.

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Telework: immediately adopted, already abandoned?

The return of old habits? According to a study by YouGov made public this Wednesday by the echoes and carried out in early August, the workers who had been sent home in 48 hours in early March returned to the office almost as brutally, and in large battalions.

Thus, while 27% of people in employment in France found themselves teleworking overnight, the figure would have fallen to 15% once deconfinement was completed. The fall would be even more marked in Ile-de-France with a drop from 39% of teleworkers to 14%. In Paris, where 45% of employees working from home during confinement were counted, only 22% would have stayed there.

Such figures contradict the plans of the Minister of Labor, Elisabeth Borne, who estimated in mid-August in an interview with Sunday newspaper that teleworking had to be implemented at “Whenever possible in areas of active virus circulation”. Ile-de-France, where new cases of Covid-19 have sharply increased this summer, is indeed seeing the virus circulating more and more actively but, if we are to believe the data provided by YouGov, this is not striking the spirits.

“Everyone is in the dark”

However, in the field, these data raise doubts. Director in charge of the transformation of work environments at JLL, one of the largest commercial real estate consulting firms, Rémi Calvayrac, finds them surprising. “The idea of ​​a massive return to the office is very contrary to what our clients are experiencing, he explains. We have large American groups and a few French groups in the CAC 40 who are talking about not bringing their employees back until the end of the first quarter of 2021, or even in the second quarter ”.

After confinement, some companies “had announced plans to return for the month of September ”, said Rémi Calvayrac. Since then, in August, the cases of Covid-19 have increased and the prospect of government announcements on the obligation to wear a mask have dampened the impetus. “Today everyone is in the dark, he sums up. But we can not imagine that the demand for teleworking decreases and even less if the mask is compulsory. In any case, we have not met any companies that would like to force their employees back to work. ”

Half office, half house

Since the Pénicaud ordinances of 2017, teleworking is a right. However, at the end of July, an Ipsos study showed that it was hardly claimed. Examining only the situation of employees «And desk» (and not “employed” as in the YouGov survey), the institute found that, even if 65% had switched to telework during confinement, they were now 55% to have returned for good to the office, although not necessarily every day. For those who continued to work at home, the number of days per week spent at home was still halved.

Read alsoTelework, you’re cops

In a way, employees have an ambivalent relationship to teleworking. “They found there a form of balance and a gain in transport time”, said Rémi Calvayrac. RATP attendance figures attest to this: only 60% of travelers returned within a week of the start of the school year.

Nevertheless, according to Ipsos, only 15% of those questioned think that teleworking will become widespread, while 28% say they are certain that the end of the epidemic will also mark the sharp decrease in the practice. In fact, more than all or nothing, many employees seem to dream of a mixture of the two situations: 45% of them would gladly work half at the office, half at home.

The question of working conditions

Would the massive return of employees to the workplace be a relief for employers? Not necessarily. “No one wants to take a risk with the health of their employees”, remarks Rémi Calvayrac. In early June, faced with the prospect of a potentially lasting situation, the employers agreed to start a series of meetings with the unions on the subject. “To document yourself”, we say to Medef, where we do not want to communicate before the last two meetings scheduled for September 3 and 11. The employers’ organization has already indicated that it would refuse to go further than the diagnosis and to open an inter-professional negotiation. On the employer’s side, a source cited by the Figaro abstract : “If the unions want us to pay half of the employees’ house by claiming the coverage of insurance or heating bills, they will find an end to inadmissibility. “

Without being so caricature, the question is nevertheless that of working conditions. An investigation carried out during the confinement by Idheal, a laboratory of ideas dedicated to housing, had shown the incredible tinkering of installing teleworkers to ensure the work from home. If teleworking becomes a habit, employers will have to equip their employees well in one way or another. Unless it was only a parenthesis, as the YouGov study seems to want to show. As for the risk of contamination in the workplace, it seems absent from the debate.

Sibylle Vincendon