Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is not a politician who likes to accept orders. Or he sends, or breaks with everything. And now, after months of threats and rumors, after a long period of weaving a new project in silence, he has decided to leave the Democratic Party (PD), the formation he guided for three years and led to its maximum historical consensus. Renzi, who this summer promoted the alliance with the 5 Star Movement (M5S) to form a coalition government against the criteria of its secretary general, Nicola Zingaretti, will take with him about thirty parliamentarians (the PD has 111 deputies and 52 senators) and will establish a new party that will continue to support the newborn Executive. The latest political pirouette adds complexity to Italy's volatile parliamentary balance.
Renzi will need at least 20 names in the Chamber of Deputies to form his own group and, for regulatory reasons, will pass to the mixed group in the Senate, where it will be impossible for him to have an independent voice. The weight it will have is not yet clear, but he had to strike now if he wanted to keep his parliamentarians faithful and take them to the new project. The political strategy of Renzi, one of the brightest politicians on the Italian scene despite the hatreds around him, is very clear. In a moment of ideological polarization and a strong loss of identity of the center parties such as the PD or Forza Italia, the former Florentine prime minister will build a new artifact to his measure, but that is capable of absorbing the abandoned political area.
Silvio Berlusconi's party, devoured by the League, is in a state of advanced decomposition and has begun to see excision movements. The PD, after the alliance with the M5S, must explain very well to its militants the last steps to not lose bellows in the following elections. The objective is evident and the reference is found in projects such as the one led by French President Emmanuel Macron. "The victory we won in Parliament against populism and Salvini was important to save Italy, but not enough. Now it is about building a young, innovative and feminist house, where ideas and proposals are launched for Italy and for our Europe ", Explain.
The news of the split, which sounded recurrently from the day Renzi was defeated in the last elections, was confirmed Tuesday in an interview in the newspaper The Repubblica in which the former secretary general officially announces the separation and defines it as a "good for all." The first thing the Florentine has done was to call the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, to guarantee his support. The problem, however, moves to a very weakened PD when negotiating the balance of forces with its new partner. "Zingaretti (general secretary of the PD) will no longer have the excuse of saying that he does not control the PD groups because they will now be free of Renzi," he says in the interview.
Renzi, a political cyclone who fell out of favor after the constitutional referendum he called and lost in December 2016, had not been comfortable in the game for some time. His strong personality and a somewhat arrogant character caused last year the split of a traditional left-wing current that he himself had insulted during his years as general secretary of the PD (he had threatened to scrap them). Today he no longer hides the limitations of his ex-party and ensures that the PD is a set of currents "without a vision of the future." After seven years of friendly fire, I think we have to realize our values, our ideas, our dreams cannot be the object of internal struggles every day, "he explained in the interview.
The bleeding that will cause the bench of the PD will be important. But it also takes two pieces of the new Executive as the Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova and Equality, Elena Bonetti. Many of his close men will stay, for now, in the PD. Stefano Ceccanti, a valuable deputy and constitutionalist expert, considers the movement a mistake: "We will not defeat the sovereignty by multiplying parties on the opposite front. There must be a government party with a Europeanist proposal. And that will not be," he says. . It is not ruled out, however, that as the project takes shape the transfer may be greater. An idea that terrifies social-democratic formation, whose general secretary has already described the decision as "a mistake."
The new political creature will start walking immediately to be able to grow sufficiently in case of a fall of the current Executive (today some polls grant him a low 5% in the intention to vote). For the moment, he has promised, he will not present himself to any local or regional electoral process. At least during the next year. He did not want to advance the name of the new political formation – there is talk of La Italia del Sí or Juntos – but he explained that the symbol and ideas of the party will be presented at an upcoming meeting in October. It will be there where the character of this initiative will be designed that, without any doubt, will be that of its creator.
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