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.


Worldwide right-wing populism: more of a river than a wave

The election defeat of US President Donald Trump is another failure for right-wing populist forces in the West. Is the wave ebbing now?

Empty desk and Trump’s red chair. Washington, DC, in December Photo: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

When the head of the French Front National Marine Le Pen stepped onto the stage of the “Europe of Nations and Freedom” congress in Koblenz in January 2017, one might have thought that a cult leader was speaking there: “We are watching the end of the old World and the birth of a new world, ”she said. The audience made up of supporters: inside all important European right-wing populist parties cheered. “It’s a historic turning point,” said Le Pen: The outcome of the Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s success in the US presidential election would soon trigger a seismic wave that would topple the “old world” parties like dominoes.

In the months that followed, anti-liberal, anti-EU, anti-Islam, anti-immigration parties rode this wave of success. The AfD was the first party to the right of the CDU / CSU to enter the Bundestag. Shortly afterwards, FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache formed a coalition with Sebastian Kurz’s ÖVP. Six months later, Matteo Salvini signed a government contract with the Five Star Movement in Italy. In spring 2019, parties that are considered right-wing populist were in power in eight EU member states.

The wave not only overran Europe: within three years, the world from the Philippines to India to Brazil suddenly seemed to be dominated by populist autocrats who think little of the rule of law – and even less of minorities, women, LGBTQI people and those who think differently.

But then, one day before the second big summit of European right-wing populists in May 2019, the media reported that FPÖ boss Strache was involved in a corruption scandal – the infamous Ibiza scandal. Shortly afterwards, the blue-turquoise government in Vienna collapsed. In the European elections, the national populists fared significantly worse than expected. A few months later, Salvini also had to vacate his position as Minister of the Interior. Now Trump has also lost his office.

So is the national-populist wave ebbing? The question cannot be answered that way, said the political scientist Aristotle Kallis. It may be true that right-wing populist forces in Europe are less in the spotlight. However, this is mainly due to the fact that the pandemic has overshadowed many of their favorite topics such as immigration and security. But one cannot say that the wave is ebbing. Because there was probably never a wave.

Right-wing populism is an underground river that is gradually eroding the foundations of democracy

“We like the idea that world history is determined by different ‘waves’: the wave of authoritarianism, the wave of democratization, the wave of globalization,” says Kallis. The idea would help to create order in the chaos of world history, give the events a certain meaningfulness, as if they were part of a longer process.

Phenomena such as the rise of anti-liberal parties in recent years are not a wave that flares up and ebbs away. They are more like a river that flows through the present and shapes politics, institutions as well as language and thought patterns, says Kallis.

This influence can only be measured to a limited extent using election results and survey results. You can recognize it by the fact that the bullet points in the speeches of moderate politicians: inside – right and left – hardly differ from those of populists: security, crime, border controls, terror.

The FPÖ may no longer rule in Vienna, but without its campaigns against Muslims in Austria it would be inconceivable that Chancellor Kurz would speak today of making political Islam as such a criminal offense. And Salvini can no longer advance his zero tolerance policy against sea rescuers in the Mediterranean as interior minister. Nevertheless, ships used by sea rescuers are still being confiscated by the Italian authorities.

And even if Trump leaves the White House in January, he will continue to influence US politics. His attempts to discredit the electoral system are having an effect: More than half of the Republican voters: inside do not believe that the presidential election was correct – that is almost 40 million people.

Trump’s desperate attempt to challenge the election result does not serve to change the result, but to reinforce the existing distrust of democratic institutions. How effective this strategy is can be seen on right-wing social media like Talk Watch where Trump supporters post photos with guns inside – and the hashtag #civilwar.

Liberal democracy, which emerged from the ashes of World War II, has long been considered solid as a rock. In the past few years it has been more fragile than expected. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center earlier this year, the majority of the population in many countries is unhappy with the way democracy works in them. In Italy, Spain and the UK that is almost 70 percent of those surveyed. In Greece 75 percent.

This dissatisfaction is the breeding ground in which current conspiracy narratives by Covid deniers and deep-state prophets also thrive. This is probably the greatest achievement of the right-wing populists: that very many people have lost their trust in the collective “we” of the democratic state – and are increasingly taking refuge in their own worlds that correspond to their values, fears and hopes.

Right-wing populism may not be a wave that can topple the rock of liberal democracy. It is more of an underground river that is gradually eroding its foundations.


Europe’s ESM only serves Germany

ITalien parliament has just had a great moment of anti-European and anti-German rhetoric. It was actually about a change in the architecture of the ESM state rescue fund, which the Italians had been calling for for years. Now everything is presented very differently.

Tobias Piller

Economic correspondent for Italy and Greece based in Rome.

The Euro-critical party leader of the Lega, Matteo Salvini, said in the Senate: “From our point of view, this is an inverted Robin Hood system that takes money away from those who actually need it to bail out German banks that actually don’t need it . The intention is to say at the end that Italy needs this money, but before any of it is paid out, it has to make even more cuts than in the past, close more hospitals and fire brigade guards ”.

Salvini and his Lega, the right-wing national opposition, but also the five-star protest movement involved in the government, have already declared the ESM to be the devil since the beginning of the year. On the one hand, the state rescue fund is associated with the reform requirements for Greece, against which there have repeatedly been major protests. The lenders of the Greeks, including Italy, wanted to transfer the money from the State Rescue Fund to Athens over the past decade not as a grant, but as loans. Greece should simultaneously strengthen the growth forces of its economy with a far-reaching reform program.

What Italy asked for is happening

Europe later discussed the banking union. Italy demanded a communitisation of the banking risks, the then German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble opposed this and made himself unpopular with the Italians. With the current reform of the ESM, what was previously demanded from Italy by the media, spokesmen for the banking industry and politicians is happening: The ESM is now also to become a “backstop”, the rescue network of the banking union.

But Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe had to fear the loss of his government majority in the Senate. Because the more the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wanted to give Europe a friendly face, with all sorts of aid programs, the more the opponents of Europe looked for a negative symbol. The ESM is now supposed to serve as the heir to an allegedly ruthless system of oppression against Greece.

When, during the pandemic, the ESM’s funds were rededicated and were to be unconditionally spent on any kind of health care expenditure, this offer was presented as a trap by Salvinis Lega and the representatives of the Five Star Movement. It is said that tough conditions could be imposed through the back door, and those who need money from this fund have come out as a black sheep on the financial markets, claim the opponents of Europe.

Conte urgently needs a vote for the ESM

This weird interpretation of reality now collides with reality because Prime Minister Conte needs a vote in favor of the ESM under all circumstances. At the meeting of European heads of government, he does not want to be spoiled for fun alongside the Prime Ministers of Hungary and Poland. In addition, a veto by Italy would not look good because the Italians, of all people, should receive the lion’s share of the European development fund.

The representatives of Italy’s opposition and the government camp were unimpressed by such considerations: The Germans would have wanted this reform, the Lega economics spokesman Claudio Borghi claimed on Wednesday during the parliamentary debate in the House of Representatives. In the ESM, it would then be easier in the future to question the solvency of states and to demand a rescheduling of government debt. “The rules of the fiscal pact, against which the five-star movement has always opposed, come back through the back door, with a budget deficit limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product and debt of 60.” One thing is required to be signed , where Germany and France had a veto right, but Italy did not, claimed Borghi. “As of today there are two lists of names, the one with the patriots and the one with those who will later be labeled as traitors”.


In Italy, Sardines in suspense after a year of mobilization

On November 14, 2019, a small group of four Bolognese managed to convince ordinary citizens to come by ban to demonstrate in Piazza Maggiore, the main square in Bologna. Their slogan? “6,000 sardines against Salvini”.

We are in the midst of the electoral campaign for the regional elections of 2020 and the objective is to do better than Matteo Salvini: the leader of the League gathered that day in the same city 5,000 supporters and, like a steamroller, affirms that ‘he is going to sweep up Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Tuscany, traditional bastions of the left… Except that opposite, the Sardines are not 6,000 but 15,000!

For a new immigration policy

The country looks dumbfounded at this good-natured gathering of demonstrators packed together like canned sardines. Hence their name. A month later, on December 14, they were once again organizing a demonstration in Rome in Piazza San Giovanni. This time, the Italian Sardines are more than 100,000. Their de facto leader, Mattia Santori, details their proposals: transparency of political life, condemnation of hate speech, law against verbal violence, and new policy of the ‘immigration.

→ EXPLANATION. In Florence, thousands of “sardines” against Salvini

He calls in particular for the abolition of the “security decree” passed by Matteo Salvini during the previous Conte government: this one introduced a series of measures against the reception of migrants or which facilitate their expulsion. In one month, the movement spreads oil and mobilizes in 80 cities of the country, in Naples, Milan, Turin, Palermo, Florence …

In mid-January, for the last demonstration before the regional election of January 26, the Sardines are back in Bologna where they mobilize up to 40,000 people, against a backdrop of concert with Italian artists and groups. The League still intends to take control of Emilia Romagna; the Sardines intend to prevent it. They support the candidate of the Democratic Party, Stefano Bonaccini who, on January 26, is elected president of the region with 51.4% of the vote, or 7.7% more than the candidate of the League, Lucia Borgonzoni.

→ ANALYSIS. Italy: in regional elections, the left saves the furniture

This movement close to the left is made up of Italians of all ages and all origins, united around the rejection of hate speech from the far right. They joined Italians on the moderate right and many disillusioned with Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement.

“We are a social antidote”

The Sardines’ tactics are simple: with each mobilization of the far right, they oppose rallies, peaceful, as substantial as possible, often in silence, except when they sing the national anthem or the famous Bella Ciao, the song of the partisans. .

The popular Matteo Salvini is paying the price. As soon as he announces a gathering in a city via social networks, the Sardines organize theirs via their Facebook page, meeting at a specific time and place, without ever insulting anyone.

« We are a social antidote ”, confided in December 2019, Lorenzo Donnoli, one of its coordinators who denies wanting to form a political party. ” The Sardines were not born to form electoral lists, but to encourage citizenship, to change the springs of our society which intends to put participation at the center, the values ​​of the Constitution, of the Republic, of respect for other ethnicities and sexes, away from propaganda and racism fueled by the far right and populism. “

“Their future is on hold”

Without a party, without a real leader, or a political program, do the Sardines have a future beyond the elections or are they just flash in the pan? ” They achieved their objective when Matteo Salvini lost the elections in Tuscany where the Sardines had invested, whereas he had seized Umbria before. », Estimates Alessandro Giacone, lecturer at Sciences-Po Bologna. ” As there are no legislative elections in Italy planned before 2023, their future is on hold, a bit like the movement of yellow vests in France: will they continue to exist? »


“More responsible for what is happening” – Libero Quotidiano

“If they had had prudence and intelligence, today they would have the country in their hands”. To speak is Roberto Saviano that, host to Tuesday on La7, expresses an opinion on the behavior of Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni, therefore of the center-right, towards the Covid-19 epidemic. “If instead of scream at the health regime, if instead of getting married to more or less legitimate denials, they had, on the contrary, pushed for greater prudence, to control the flow of holidays, to keep restaurants and theaters open, but within a more general prudence, today they could speak “, continues the writer , who then accuses the leaders of the Lega and FdI of being “i more responsible for what is happening“. According to Saviano, the center right has underestimated everything:” They made believe that the alarm was an invention to remain in a state of exception. They started talking about immigrants as smearers, what nonsense. They are linked to what was also Trump’s reading of Covid and therefore today they have no authority “.

That makes a book, but how do you do it ?.  Saviano avalanche on Speranza.  Incompetent ?, even Floris is displaced |  Video


“Answer, how many illegal immigrants landed in Italy with the Nice killer?” – Free Daily

“Minister Lamorgese respond”. Matteo Salvini still points the finger at the Viminale, in the case of the Tunisian author of the massacre of Islamic origin in Nice in which three people died in the cathedral of the French town on Wednesday morning. “Last 8 October – recalls the leader of the League – the quarantine ship Rhapsody brought 805 illegal immigrants to Bari. How many landed in addition to the Islamic killer in Nice, the Tunisian Brahim Aoussaoui? How many of these are still in Italy, and where? How many have disappeared? Lamorgese answer!“In the morning, the Minister of the Interior simply said that there were no reports of Brahim or from Tunisia nor fromintelligence, glissando however on why after the landing in Lampedusa and the consequent rejection, the killer was able to freely move to France.


Lamorgese: «Salvini decrees have created insecurity. Nice? No blame ». The Lega leader: “Resign”

“In the past I must say that unfortunately similar cases have occurred and then I wonder why the opposition forces, which today apologized to France, to which I express all my solidarity, why they have not decided to apologize in others severe cases that have occurred. And I’m talking about the attacks on the London Underground, London Bridge in 2017 and the attack on the Rambla on August 17, 2017 ». The Minister of the Interior said so Luciana Lamorgese speaking to the Interior Ministry about the case of Nice. «It’s time to stop the controversy, rthere is no responsibility on our part ».», He then told SkyTg24, also speaking of the safety decrees of «Salvini which have created insecurity “.

Massacre in Nice, the killer who landed in Italy on September 20 could be stopped for 3 months “But there were no alerts on him”

Massacre in Nice, the killer’s family: «It’s him. He sent us a photo of the basilica “

Nice, the last words of the woman killed: “Tell my children I love them”

Avignon, armed, attacks the agents: “Killed by the police.” Afghan with knife stopped in Lyon

The leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, he had said this morning: «Record of landings (27,190 in 2020 against 9,533 in the same period a year ago), squares in revolt and now even a Tunisian killer landed in Lampedusa and left quietly to flee to France to kill and slaughter. In between, the cancellation of the Security Decrees to open ports and wallets. What is still to happen? The Interior Ministry is in disarray, Lamorgese resigns. Without words!!! With the ports open, an Islamic terrorist lands in #Lampedusa, identified in Bari but left free to flee to #Nice to slaughter and behead and according to the Minister of the Interior it is my fault !!! “, Matteo Salvini later wrote on Facebook. . “You are without shame,” adds Salvini, concluding with the hashtag “Lamorgesedimettiti”.

WITHOUT WORDS!!! 😧😧😧 With the ports open, an Islamic terrorist arrives in #Lampedusa, identified in Bari but left …

Published by Matteo Salvini on Friday 30 October 2020

Last updated: 21:59


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“Absurd and unworthy, and Conte closes safe places” – Libero Quotidiano

“Photo from this morning, metro C in Rome, San Giovanni stop”. Matteo Salvini the post on Facebook and defines it “nonsense”: it is the symbol of the paradoxes of a government that blocks Italy with the new Dpcm, closes bars and restaurants at 6 pm, cinemas, theaters, gyms and swimming pools 7 days a week, sends high school students home but nothing has done, does and will do to improve public transport, one of the “hotbeds” of the second wave of coronavirus.

“They close safe and controlled places such as gyms, swimming pools, cinemas and theaters – accuses the leader of the League -, but they continue to crowd people on the subway and on buses. They are working with mayors and governors of the League to guarantee at the same time, work is a duty, something that the government has forgotten, preferring to shift their serious responsibilities on companies and defined activities (and humiliate) come ‘superfluous‘… Unworthy“.


“Salvini was angry, I hope Fontana maintains his position” –

“I read that President Fontana was taken by the ears by the Secretary of the Lega Salvini, who would have been angry about this decision of the Lombardy Region which contradicts his previous positions, I hope that Fontana will maintain the position he shared with all the mayors. In my opinion, it is a value that at this stage the institutions talk to each other and share decisions, and I hope it is not the choices of a party that change them because we are talking about the health of citizens ». Thus the mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori, guest of the “Non stop news” broadcast on Rtl 102.5, intervenes on the possibility that a curfew will be triggered in Lombardy, from 11 pm to 5 am, to curb the wave of coronavirus.

Gori thus reaffirms the strict line that these days he is trying to pass, too with appeals to citizens’ responsibility. And this despite the fact that Bergamo, at the moment, is in less difficulty than other cities, such as Milan and Varese. «The technical-scientific committee of the Region has been very clear in recent days. The numbers projected for two weeks tell us that in Lombardy we will have 600 people in intensive care and 4 thousand people hospitalized for Covid», Emphasizes Gori.

The mayor explained that “at least the draft” with the curfew provision should arrive in these hours. “I proposed the choice of anticipating some measures, such as a curfew, because – continues Gori – we must try to anticipate the epidemic instead of chasing it with breathlessness as it happened a few months ago”. From an economic point of view, the province of Bergamo «has a strong hold on companies, both the largest and the smallest. We are helping small businesses and artisans, of course the climate of uncertainty in which this second wave places us does not help consumption and commerce and there are categories, I am thinking of restaurateurs, bartenders, those who have a shop in a shopping center, which must be helped: the government must do it, but in my opinion we must also be close to it at the local level ».

21 October 2020 | 10:08



with whom they caught him sitting in the restaurant. “I neither confirm nor deny” – Libero Quotidiano

A big surprise at a restaurant table in Rome. To account for the curious case is, which makes it known that a couple of days ago, in a well-known restaurant in via Savonarola, near the Vatican, they were pinched together Matteo Salvini e Rocco Siffredi. The restaurant is very popular with the leader of the League, one of his favorite places and where he goes most often in the capital: in short, it was a chance meeting. Salvini was already inside the restaurant when Siffredi arrived with his wife and some friends: a curious intersection that prompted them to take a seat together. makes it known that he has asked Rocco Siffredi what the two had talked about, but the person concerned has entrenched himself behind a “I neither confirm nor deny”. In short, a stitched mouth.

Putt ***, chatter and thoughtful editorialini, for Salvini a dispassionate advice: so you can get rid of all this