The four Grillini ministers know that these will be tiring days. They feel it on their skin. It is not just the heat of a scorching summer. It is sitting there, squeezed between Draghi and Conte, in a Council of Ministers to be boycotted without, however, pulling the rope too much. It’s a balancing act and in this heat it’s easy to slip. The ideal would be to postpone everything to September, but the head of the government does not have all this patience. The reform of the justice system must go to Parliament by Sunday and then everyone should assume their responsibilities. The climate is not the best. Draghi and Minister Cartabia are looking for possible mediations. Neither of them wants to compromise the Mafia and related processes. The discussion goes on in fits and starts. The Council of Ministers leaves, is interrupted, the bridges move and after eight hours of negotiation we arrive at something that resembles an agreement. Conte obtains that the crimes related to 416 bis 1 of the penal code “do not expire” and that for the aggravating mafia the times on appeal do not exceed five years starting from 2025, until then there will be six. These are not technical issues for the grillini. It is on these two points that they have fixed their flag. In short, the compromise is a political victory of the day. Above all, it is to say to yourself: we have achieved something. However, it is not strategic. It is a way of digesting the Cartabia reform, which effectively puts order on the statute of limitations after the adventure of Bonafede. It is a retreat that leaves two symbols as a stronghold.
The political challenge on justice is in fact taking place elsewhere. It is the referendum promoted by Lega and Radicali and it directly involves the Italians. The six questions touch the heart of the matter: separation of careers, civil liability of judges, pre-trial detention, the relationship between the judiciary and politics, career management. The referendum is now real. Sicily is the fifth region to ask for a vote. Now it’s up to the Supreme Court to make the checks and the Constitutional Court to give the green light. It won’t be easy to stop this. The referendum opens a profound reflection on justice in Italy. It does so with unexpected force. It is an examination of conscience for politics, for the judiciary and for Italians. It is a watershed and the consequences of the vote will not be slight.