IN ITALY there is only one realistic opposition to the Draghi government – the right wing Fratelli d’Italia party led by Giorgia Meloni.
The president of the ECR group in Europe – and leader of the hard-right Brothers of Italy – has quadrupled her party’s vote to almost 16 per cent in recent years, throwing another spanner into this Italian crisis.
Mario Draghi, former president of the ECB, was called on to resolve a political crisis caused by Matteo Renzi in the middle of the pandemic. But the fact that they could have an absolute majority without any opposition would still be an oddity in the normal political dialectic of a parliamentary democracy like the Italian one.
“Mine is a party of patriots, and we have never moved by calculation, but only in the specific interest of the nation. And that is why we are out because we are convinced that for the good of Italy we need nothing but a entire Parliament lined up with a chosen government inside the Palace.”
This was the statement issued by the party leader following the decision of the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella to entrust the task of forming a new government to former ECB president Mario Draghi.
On the other hand, the center-right Brothers of Italy party – born in 2012 after the establishment of another technical government – has always been consistent in its principles and values, based on national identity, on patriotism, on the family and its Christian values and on respect for the rules and on greater liberalism in the economy and a fairer taxation.
This has been the basis of its great success in the consensus which has grown a lot in the last two years. Many have circulated this choice and some even accused Meloni, who a few months ago was appointed president of the party of European conservatives, of acting out of personal convenience.
This, frankly, seems very difficult to understand, considering that she risks total isolation from the opposition. and could feasibly be left without a possibility of influencing the next fundamental political choices of the executive.
But Italy is the country of creativity, and for this reason it is so admired and at the same time criticised by the rest of the world. The concreteness also contains within it that dose of unpredictability, that often does not reconcile politics.
Salvini’s League, initially allied with Meloni to the opposition of the old government of Giuseppe Conte, after a first moment of waiting, decided to support the Draghi government, together with the Democratic Party, Free and Equal and the Five Star Movement who formed the old majority.
This is because, according to many opinion-makers, the Lega party thinks that it is more convenient to be on the side of the government when it has to manage the Recovery fund and make very important decisions on economic policy.
Meloni, on the other hand, has kept faith with her initial position, namely that after the crisis, the only way forward is that of early voting.
She said: “That of Fratelli di Italia is not a foreclosure in principle, but only the awareness that our ideas are incompatible with those of the left. And then for us the word given to the voters is sacred.”
Meloni has arrived. Already too many times, Italian politicians, and not only them, have been accused in the past of promising so much in the electoral campaign but then taking back everything once they come to power.
It seems rather difficult to imagine a government that is based on parties so different in terms of culture, identity and ideologies.
But anyway, many accuse Meloni only for what seems to be a choice of consistency and respect for principles.
Now the Italian state is faced with a very important crossroads, with the vaccine campaign to be organized, the plan for the recovery fund funds to be presented to the European Union and with the measures to be taken to cope with the serious economic crisis.
If everything goes well as we hope, many will want to take the credit, if something goes wrong, surely everyone will be ready to blame others. Because as it is, the victories have many fathers but the defeats are orphans.
From all this, it will be only Meloni who will be able to come out with her head held high. Brothers of Italy have made a courageous choice.
Vincenzo Caccioppoli is a Rome-based journalist focusing on international politics. He is the editor of the Farefuturo foundation in international politics.
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