What’s happening to the Italian centre-right?

By Vincenzo Caccioppoli


IN ITALY the Draghi government, chosen by the president of the republic, after the crisis of the Conte’s government, is causing a small earthquake in the political scene of the country, never as jagged and quarrelsome as now.

The government of the former governor of the ECB, which has a recognized authority at an international level, has a very large majority ranging from the Lega di Metto Salvini up to the five stars, Forza Italia and the Democratic Party.

Only Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party remained in opposition to the government. But the great success of the right-wing Meloni party, recently also president of the European Conservative Party, in the polls, is creating great turmoil in the centre-right coalition, which is led by Matteo Salvini of the Northern League, the first Italian party according to the latest polls.

Salvini is looking for a complicated merger operation with the party of moderate centre-right Forza Italia, led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Forza Italia, which for over twenty years was the leading party of the centre-right coalition, is suffering from a slight decline in consensus, and is now given to about 7 per cent, which added to about 22 per cent of the League would guarantee a solid majority relative to new creation.

The new party would also have a considerable weight within the current majority and could certainly condition more the executive’s choices. 

In addition, this would guarantee the Northern League leader to trim the aims of Meloni to be able to become the next candidate for the premier. But the path is fraught with difficulties and pitfalls, because many exponents of Berlusconi’s party are certainly not enthusiastic about the prospect of being annexed by a party, such as the Lega, which still has many differences compared to Forza Italia.

First of all, a different approach towards Europe, which has always been criticized by the Lega, which is in the European group Identity and democracy which is also part of the Frointe Nationale of Marine Le Pen, while Forza Italia, which is part of the PPE group, has always been a fervent supporter of Europe.

But Salvini is now convinced that this is the way to go, also to perhaps obtain a viaticum to be able to enter in it. Matteo Salvini is therefore looking for a sort of maturity exam for the international community to demonstrate that his populist and sovereign claims belong to the past and that now, as demonstrated by the convinced support for the Draghi government, he has instead changed his approach and mentality.

Draghi’s self-righteousness could be the decisive push to have the definitive go-ahead at the international level to be able to become the next Prime Minister. And now Salvini is trying to play a decisive role in the upcoming election of the new President of the Republic. Exactly the same role to which Silvio Berlusconi would aspire in his heart, who only with all the compact center-right would have some chance of being elected.

What is certain is that both Meloni and Forza Italia itself do not seem to look too favourably at this improvised move by the leader. Exactly the same role to which Silvio Berlusconi would aspire in his heart, who only with all the compact centre-right would have some chance of being elected.

And Salvini, who is a very intelligent politician, played precisely on this desire of the old Forza Italia leader, who, weakened by the weight of the years and the after-effects of Covid, appears less and less able to lead the party he founded in 1994. 

Matteo Salvini is therefore looking for a sort of maturity exam for the international community to demonstrate that his opulist and sovereign claims belong to the past and that now, as demonstrated by the convinced support for the Draghi government, he has instead changed his approach and mentality.

Draghi’s self-righteousness could be the decisive push to have the definitive go-ahead at the international level to be able to become the next Prime Minister. What is certain is that both Meloni and Forza Italia itself do not seem to look too favorably at this sudden move by the leader of the League.

On the other hand, the advantage that the centre-right coalition has over the left seems reassuring in view of the upcoming elections. In October there will be important administrative elections in important cities including Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin, which will be able to say something more about the real strength of the parties in the field.

And above all in February there will be the election of the new President of the Republic, which will probably represent the last battle before the elections, which could also take place before the natural deadline, scheduled for 2023, especially if it will be Mario Draghi, as some say, to become the next president of the republic.

Vincenzo Caccioppoli is a Rome-based journalist focusing on international politics. He is the editor of the Farefuturo foundation in international politics.


Opinion articles featured on Redaction Report reflect the views of their author, not those of the publication as a whole. Only Editorials display the opinions of our management.


Featured Image: Presidenza della Repubblica @WikimediaCommons (Credit)

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