Italy: the Senate refers any decision on the fate of the government to August 20


The Italian Senate takes on the role of master of clocks. The Upper House of Parliament has postponed to 20 August a solution to the political crisis triggered by the leader of the League (far right) Matteo Salvini, inflicting a snub by rejecting Tuesday any draft motion of censure against the government of Giuseppe Conte. The Interior Minister, who blew up the majority formed with the 5-Star Movement on August 8, had called for a vote this week of a no-confidence resolution against the executive, in place for just 14 months.

Urgently convened in the middle of summer, a majority of senators voted against Matteo Salvini's motion, which for the occasion had reconnected with his old allies of the traditional right, Forza Italia (FI, right) and Frères d'Italie (FdI, post-fascist). At the same time, in another motion, they asked Giuseppe Conte to come and speak in parliament on 20 August to try to resolve the crisis. Specialists immediately interpreted the poll in the Senate, which saw the M5S vote alongside the Democratic Party (PD, center-left), as paving the way for an alternative majority to the one that has ruled the country so far.

Read also Michèle Cotta – The "march on Rome" by Matteo Salvini

The return of Matteo Renzi

Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (2014-2016), still the heavyweight of the PD, has returned to the fore, proposing to the M5S, to join forces behind an "institutional government" and "no tax" (anti-taxes), which would cut drastically in the number of parliamentarians (345 less of a total of 950) and adopt the 2020 budget.

Early elections in the autumn as required by Matteo Salvini since his break with the M5S "would be a disaster", because they would make it impossible to adopt budgetary measures to avoid the rise in VAT, argued Matteo Renzi at the time of a press conference in the Senate just before the vote. According to him, in this case, the VAT very penalizing for consumers, could "go up to 25%" and "it is certain that Italy will fall into recession". "We have the opportunity to turn the page," said Matteo Renzi, reaching out to the Five Star, while acknowledging that "it costs him on the human level" because he suffered his share of "insults, accusations "from them.

Read also Italy: for Salvini, elections at any price

"Captain Fracasse"

"Captain Fracasse Salvini missed his appointment and created an unexpected crisis even for his own," attacked Matteo Renzi, saying his "reputation as an invincible man collapses dramatically in the polls". From the opening of the session in the Senate, Matteo Salvini tried everything for the whole, while it was now clear that even in uniting with FI and FDI, he had no majority. In an unexpected turnaround, he proposed to his former "friends" of the M5S to vote together to reduce the number of parliamentarians before returning immediately to the polls. "I heard the call of Luigi Di Maio (head of the M5S) to remove 345 posts. Case concluded, we agree. Let's vote next week in the Chamber of Deputies, "said Salvini, proposing to go" right after, in elections ".

Thursday, the Minister of the Interior had however brutally broken his marriage with the M5S, accusing him of obstructing all his projects, on tax cuts or major infrastructure projects. The ball is now in the camp of Mr. Di Maio, who has maintained the vagueness of his intentions. "Delete 345 parliamentarians, let's do it right away. It only takes a few hours, no need to summon parliament, "he wrote on Facebook. But the leader of the M5S launched a spike to Mr. Salvini: "for me friendship is a serious thing (…). And especially true friends are loyal.

By August 20, the game remains very open. The draft PD-M5S alliance on Tuesday could lead to a new, short-term government and technicians to adopt the budget and prepare for new elections, either on a reworked executive, made up of M5S ministers, backed by the PD and other formations. In the absence of a solid majority, elections would become inevitable.


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