Mario’s silence shakes the center-right. Meloni supports it, Salvini is doubtful: “Make it clear”

Mario’s silence shakes the center-right. Meloni supports it, Salvini is doubtful: “Make it clear”
Mario’s silence shakes the center-right. Meloni supports it, Salvini is doubtful: “Make it clear”

Is Mario Draghi available to play the Quirinale match, which is now just around the corner? On this point, the premier has intentionally chosen to remain silent, despite the fact that for over a month the question has been publicly and repeatedly raised by a minister very close to him such as Giancarlo Giorgetti. Yet, having arrived in mid-November, the issue is now more and more decisive. Because it is on the race to Colle that all the parties are tearing apart. Those of the very large majority who support the former ECB number one at Palazzo Chigi and even the opposition of the Brothers of Italy.

Of course, hypocrisy – often combined with a brazen sense of ridicule – continues to dictate the line. Thus, all the actors in the field insist on repeating urbi et orbi that they will deal with the question “only in February”. An approximate timing, given that the first session of Parliament in joint session to elect Sergio Mattarella’s successor will be held in the third week of January. Yet all – the parties called to vote for the new head of state and even those who are among the main candidates for the succession – postpone any comment in the name of an unspecified institutional etiquette. Destabilizing the whole system, from the ruling majority to individual coalitions.

The center-right is no exception, where the issue is sensitive because – numbers in hand – Silvio Berlusconi could also be one of the personalities in the race. The Forza Italia leader on this point has never been unbalanced, but the allies – from Matteo Salvini to Giorgia Meloni – have repeatedly made it known in public that they would be happy to support him.

In public. Because then, behind the scenes, we return to that hypocritical version that postpones reflections and forecasts for the months to come. A way to postpone the discussion to the day of then and the year of never. Also waiting for Draghi to say clear words on this point. This is the reasoning that, certainly not publicly but privately and repeatedly, unites the leaders of the Lega and FdI: “Draghi dissolve the reserve”. Before then, it was difficult to make predictions that make sense. On the other hand, whether the former ECB decides to play the Quirinale match by taking the field or preferring to watch it from the stands is decisive. Not only for the Colle, but also for the government, for the duration of the legislature and for the European funds linked to the Recovery plan. Because, as we know, all parties would find it hard to say no to Draghi running for the Quirinale (even if it would remain the crux of the secret vote of a Parliament that fears early elections).

In the center-right, as often happens, the positions diverge. Salvini’s and the Lega’s line is – for a number of reasons – more complex and nuanced. While the approach of the Brothers of Italy – beyond public statements – is decidedly more linear. Meloni repeats that he is at the forefront of Berlusconi, of course. But, all the executives closest to her confirm without hesitation, cheer for Draghi. Moreover. The theme would have been one of the topics of the long face to face he had with the premier at Palazzo Chigi last Wednesday. The former ECB al Colle, in fact, would be a win win solution for Meloni. Following this, the leader of FdI obviously sees the early elections. But this were not the case and with a premier other than Draghi – with whom he chose to make a reasoned and responsible opposition – a war with no holds barred would begin, a permanent electoral campaign until the elections of 2023.

Salvini’s approach is different, decidedly more inclined to the Berlusconi hypothesis. He too is waiting for Draghi to clarify (“we are waiting to know what his ambitions are”), but he certainly does not tear his clothes for the early elections. Why is it necessary to close the PNRR projects and because after almost a year of painful support for the government, he would like to get out of it only after being politically collected (reforms and funds). But also because the polls continue to tell of a vertical collapse of the League, to the point that both Ipsos and Swg are working on forecasts that hypothesize a trend of the Northern League around 15%. This is why even the parliamentary groups – albeit silenced in the internal debate – begin to be in a state of fibrillation, aware that in the event of early elections a large part of the outgoing parliamentarians would stay at home. This is also why Salvini looks to Draghi, but without Meloni’s enthusiasm. Moreover, with the former ECB al Colle it would be Giorgetti – and certainly not him – who would have a privileged channel with the Quirinale.

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