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Antonello Guerrera @antoguerrera
, 34 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
How #Italy has plunged into the maybe worst political crisis of its recent history and why this man below, one of the most xenophobic & eurosceptic leaders, Matteo Salvini, is the real winner so far and might become the game changer of Italian politics in the future. THREAD 🇮🇹
1. Let's start from the second point. Why a far right leader like Salvini, who distinguished himself in the past for his rash and violent attacks against migrants and Europe, is supposed to gain more votes and getting more and more decisive in the next months? Let's see.
2. First reason of all: the worldwide populist Zeitgeist. Ok, but there are many more specific reasons related to Italy and what happened in the last few months. In a few words, Salvini has won all his political bets, so far. And he is getting more and more influential.
3. First of all, his decision to join M5S to form a (later aborted) government was considered by many commentators (not myself as I have been often tweeting) a political suicide. Salvini left the "chair" of the most voted coalition (Berlusconi) to join - as a junior partner - M5S
4. This happened weeks ago, despite all the previous pledges by Salvini to stay loyal to Berlusconi (something I have never taken for granted, as my followers welll know). To many it was a really crazy move, abandoning the leadership of the most voted coalition. They were wrong.
5. They were wrong because Salvini, who is a very experienced politician despite his young age, is politically cannabilising the naif Five Star Movement and his even younger leader, Luigi Di Maio, now very confused. Looking at this famous murales, it might be a death kiss
6. According to some commentators, Salvini has taken the chance to form a government trying to impose excessive and impossible promises or nominees (like the Finance Min Savona) to agitate the political climate and gain the most out of it in terms of political approval.
7. In some way, this view is realistic. On the other hand, especially after all the negotiations M5S and Salvini's party LEGA underwent to form a government, much less. IHMO, Salvini played and is playing on two tables at the same time, eventually choosing the most convenient one
8. And the most convenient one, at a certain point, sure was to insist on a hyper-eurosceptic Finance Minister as Paolo Savona, his nominee and obsessions. In their private hearings, M5S Di Maio reportedly expressed with President Mattarella his actual subalternity to Salvini.
9. For instance, because of the politically desperate situation in #Italy, Salvini knew well that highly pressuring the President on the nominee of Finance min Savona and insisting on him so fiercily, would be a double win. Either he got Savona min or a "martyr" for his people.
10. Because Salvini is a very tactical and cynical politician, along with his extremisms. After Pres Mattarella blasted Savona's nominee, he stayed calm and told his people (via a FB live) that this was only a lost battle, "we will win at last". M5S instead reacted so naively.
11. After Savona's dismissal, M5S leader Di Maio asked for an impeachment of Mattarella, a surreal and silly move, as the Pres has the right to have a word on the ministers' choice. Di Maio was so naif that M5S founder Beppe Grillo had to scold him with an op-ed on Il Fatto daily
12. This was not the only mistake by Di Maio, while Salvini was behaving like the perfect ruthless machiavelli. Along with Mattarella's impeachment, M5S called also for a big demonstration on June 2nd (the Republic Day here in Italy) which someone considered somehow "aggressive"
13. Di Maio had to backtrack also on the June 2nd demonstration, later reshaping it as "reconciliatory". Too late. I suppose M5S has lost a few votes in the latest weeks, also because of their alliance with Salvini's LEAGUE, something that a part of their base has never accepted.
14. Meanwhile it is likely that Salvini's LEAGUE might boost their approval in the next elections, which may occur very soon. A recent poll put the LEAGUE up to a huge 27%. But there are other reasons that might make Salvini even stronger. I'll resume this thread (2nd part) later
15. Here I am again, thanks for your patience. So, why Salvini is such on the rise and more and more influential? Because he is getting the most out of any situation he faces, instead of M5S and Di Maio, who are terribly flip-flopping and piling mistakes.
16. The latest gaffe by Di Maio was on his relationship with Paolo Savona, the wannabe Finance Minister whose nomination was fiercely opposed by President Mattarella. A few days ago Di Maio said that he met him only very recently. True or false?
17. Well, it was false, just fake news. Today a 2016 video (now viral) surfaced online in which the nominated Finance Min Savona says: "Yes, I have been talking with Di Maio about quitting euro"…
18. This is just the latest of a long list of misstatements and inaccuracies by Di Maio, who today was openly scolded even by his mentor, ex comician and M5S founder Beppe Grillo, as I said before. Sure Di Maio is a wonderboy of #Italy politics. But his credibility is going down.
19. Instead, right-wing and xenophobic leader Salvini is gaining more and more approval, according to polls. His populist and "clear" rethoric is undoubtedly taking root in #Italy, especially because the other parties are in a incredibly bad shape.
20. Despite, Paolo Sorrentino's latest movie on him, Berlusconi is less and less influential, despite being still very active. On the other side, the Democratic Party (PD, the one of former PM Renzi) is experiencing the worst moment of his history and is sinking in polls
21. This is a political highway for populist Salvini to get the premiership and lead the country. Because there are no competitive political rivals in #Italy who can stop him right now. The only one is another populist party, the Five Stars Movement, who might lose ground anyway
22. If right-wing, populist, xenophobic Salvini gets more than 25% of votes in the next elections, his party LEGA might become the biggest one in #Italy. This is unbelievable for a party which just a few years ago wanted to break Italy, separating the North from the (hated) South
23. Moreover, if M5S stay above the 25% threshold despite all their recent huge mistakes, then populists in #Italy may conquer the majority of the country next time (not only in the Parliament, where BTW they would be even stronger than now)
24. In any case, if the LEAGUE becomes the biggest party at the next election, sure Salvini will feel entitled to become the new PM, trying to form a government. And #Italy will take such an (extreme) right-wing, populist turn.
25. It's no secret that President Mattarella is a fierce pro-European figure. This clashes with Salvini's LEAGUE and also M5S. Mattarella has been also criticized in the last days: to some commentators, he has been too soft on Di Maio's and especially Salvini's requests and will
26. Instead, President Mattarella was reportedly very inflexible during the latest negotiation of the government formation, which is the above-mentioned Finance minister case. Maybe was it too late? Salvini and Di Maio considered inappropriate this opposition after 2-month talks
27. Mattarella's attempt of forming a technocratic government with former IMF Cottarelli PM (until next elections in autumn) is just useless, IMHO. It's extremely unlikely that Cottarelli would get any possible majority in the Parliament. Even Renzi's PD might abstain.
28. BTW, because of Cottarelli's mission impossible, today surfaced again the possibility of a "political government", which means LEGA+M5S again. So talks are basically open again despite the "lame duck" Cottarelli is still trying to form a technocratic gvt
29. Salvini reacted saying: "The door is still open". However, is it convenient to Salvini trying to form (again) a government with M5S now? Maybe not. Because he surely knows that he might get so many votes more in a forthcoming election.
30. So, now Salvini is gonna play on two tables, once more. Sure he will up the ante, making his requests even bigger and demanding, cannabilising Di Maio even more. So, if Di Maio and Mattarella accept, he'll be the winner. Otherwise, in case of new elections, he'll win as well.
31. For instance, and this is a quite tragicomical provocation of him, his first request to Mattarella and Di Maio will be keeping Savona as minister, as he explains in this video today. He knows well that he got the upper hand.…
32. Moreover, silly statements like the ones by EU commissar Oettinger yesterday mean more votes for populists and eurosceptics

Other #Italy parties are thinking of forming a "Republican front" against Salvini but they look somehow weak and divided.
33. Tomorrow it might be (another) decisive day for #Italy: new elections will be called or Mattarella will alternatively make a new attempt for a populist M5S-LEAGUE government
We'll see. Sure Salvini is the one in pole position.
I hope I wasn't too boring. Thank you, good night
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