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Antonello Guerrera @antoguerrera
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What is going on in #Italy after March 4th elections and the subsequent political deadlock? A quick and concise update on the thrilling party negatiotions/talks that officially started yesterday. Thread coming up shortly. 🇮🇹
1. Here I am (sorry I had to get some food at the 24h supermarket 😊). Well, the deadlock stays but there are some very interesting news that, at least, keep new elections at bay for now. And, beside the M5S-LEGA populist liaison, there is a new potential alliance at sight
2. But let’s go through it. The first thing is that M5S populist and young leader Di Maio has explicitly opened to an alliance either with right-wing LEGA or with centre-left PD (Renzi’s party). “Let’s make a coalition pact like in Germany” Di Maio said.
3. At first yesteday Di Maio stated that M5S will not ally at all with centre-right if Berlusconi is in it (only LEGA would be ok) and PD if former PM Renzi is still involved. Today he changed a bit his rethoric and it is quite decisive.
4. Today Di Maio said that M5S is available also to a coalition with PD “in its entirety”. So the issue Renzi seemed to be much less important today, if PD makes a deal with M5S on a few points of a shared coalition program, like Merkel and Spd have done in Germany.
5. I won’t bore you with all the shapes of the Machiavelian Italian politics, but Di Maio strategy is of a finest tactical quality, despite his young age. Vetoeing any involvement of Berlusconi and (at first) Renzi, Di Maio wants to divide and split both centre-right and PD
6. And this strategy may well work. Berlusconi is in trouble now. Today his centre-right coalition partner, Salvini, for instance, said a very important sentence with regard to a cooperation with Di Maio’s M5S: “Any other solution would be improvised, everyone understands that”
7. Is Salvini’s LEGA going to quit the centre-right coalition with Berlusconi and join alone M5S?
This is not impossible as I said more than once in the past. Berlusconi is the devil for many M5S militants and Salvini doesn’t defend anymore that often the integrity of centreright
8. Secondly, Di Maio and Salvini argued more than once recently about who should be the prime minister in case of a populist M5S-LEGA coalition. Di Maio sounds inflexible: “The PM position must go to M5S”, that is himself. Salvini has softened his position during the last days.
9. Right-wing, xenofobic and eurosceptic Salvini of course wants to become the new PM because he leads the most voted coalition (Di Maio the most voted party)
Today he basically asked Di Maio to be more flexible on the issue but he sounded less belligerent than in the past
10. And what about PD? Di Maio’s offer has likely divided even more the party, split into two factions: the (still?) largest one who wants to stay at the opposition and stay away from populists and those who instead think that a deal with M5S is possible. Di Maio’s strategy works
12. And you know what the funniest (& tragic) thing is? Despite now considering them a potential coalition partner, M5S (and its followers online) have always despised and offended PD. That’s also why, according to some polls, the majority of M5S members prefer LEGA to PD
13. So the huge dilemma for PD now is: should we strike a deal with those (M5S) who hate us in order to avoid a populist and eurosceptic government LEGA-M5S? Or better being the main opposition party now to be ready and politically “fit” for the next general election?
14. In any case, a government M5S-LEGA (as I supposed more than once in the past) is still the most likely one right now. Apart economy, M5S shares more issues with LEGA than PD. But Berlusconi who wants to stay in the game. Salvini has to pass over his dead body to join Di Maio.
15. We’ll see what happens in the next days, but Salvini and Di Maio look more and more on the same frequency, while PD is to split to be a reliable coalition partner.
16. Today president Mattarella ended the first round of formal negotiations with no deal reached. Next round will take place next week but informal talks will go on meanwhile. Anyway, new elections are more unlikely today. The President understood that a deal is possible.
17. Enough for now, won’t bore you any more tonight but I will keep you posted with all the most crucial developments from Italy. Good night 🇮🇹
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