Status: 07/20/2022 04:09
Will Mario Draghi remain Italian Prime Minister or will he insist on resigning? He wants to explain himself today in the Senate – what happens next is not only anxiously awaited in Italy.
Mario Draghi should stay – this is the mood in Italy ahead of the vote on the Prime Minister in both houses of parliament. More than 1,000 mayors from left and right have signed a pro Draghi appeal.
In Rome, Milan, Turin and Florence, people took to the streets to demonstrate for the prime minister. Dozens of civil society organizations – from environmental groups to Catholic youth organizations to the anti-mafia initiative Libera – are also demanding that Draghi remain as head of government.
The polls are clear
In recent polls, the head of government obtains 65% approval. Remarkably, says Politics Professor Lorenzo Castellani of the University of Rome Luiss: “Draghi is currently seen as the best solution by the most active and productive part of the country. He is also seen as a kind of antidote against parties”.
Pro-Draghi commitments and demonstrations, according to Castellani, are also “a symptom of distrust of parties”.
They want Draghi to remain head of government: in Rome, citizens demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister’s office.
Five stars are against Draghi
The current government crisis has triggered the Five Star Movement. Former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s party refused to support Draghi in the Senate.
The head of government then announced his resignation, but President Sergio Mattarella asked him to return to parliament and seek his approval.
The reason for the break was a package of aid to support families and businesses in the face of high energy prices. These proposals do not go far enough for the Five Star Movement, and the Conte party also rejects the construction of a waste incineration plant near Rome, which was also part of the legislative package.
Populists fight against themselves
The former protest party is struggling to find a line for or against Draghi in meetings day and night since Thursday. Five-star boss Conte is among the hardliners. Critics accuse him of politically raising his profile for his struggling party.
Conte himself says: “If the measures are not enough for businesses and citizens, they are not enough for the Five Star Movement either.” It is not up to the Five Stars to “repair the breach of the pact of trust of which President Draghi spoke”.
In other words: Draghi is to address the Five Star Movement in his speech to Parliament today.
Now the right wing parties are unhappy
But the prime minister is now caught in the crossfire. Because now the co-governing right-wing parties are also threatening. They no longer want to work with the Five Star Movement: it is unreliable.
Former President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, underlines on behalf of the Berlusconi Forza Italia party, but also of the right-wing Lega: “There can be no stability with a government in which the Five Star Movement is present.”
This means, according to Tajani: “Either a Draghi government without Conte, or new elections”. New elections that center-right parties would win, according to recent polls.
Who still supports Draghi
In parliament, the PD Social Democrats and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva party are fighting for Draghi to continue. PD vice-president Debora Serracchiani said: “We must complete the reforms, also to obtain the announced European aid. We must reduce labor costs.”
Moreover, the pandemic is not yet defeated and there is a war. Anyone who loves Italy, says Serracchiani, must vote for Draghi in the vote of confidence.
Draghi asks for broad support
The former head of the European Central Bank himself has not publicly commented on the government crisis these days. Last week, he made it clear in a written statement that he was only available as prime minister for a government of national unity.
Which would mean: Draghi will only continue if there is broad support for Draghi in parliament today.
Draghi faces Senate vote of confidence
Jörg Seisselberg, ARD Rome, 19.7.2022 11:35 p.m.