The founder of the 5 Star Movement Beppe Grillo wrote a joke on Facebook about the serious crisis within the party, relying on the fact that on Saturday the Italian newspapers wrote in a very alarmed way that Luigi Di Maio, Foreign Minister and one of the exponents better known than the M5S, it would have been threatened by the Islamic State.
The crisis, which in recent weeks has been very intense, on Sunday evening appeared close to a solution, after the two leaders involved, Grillo and former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, made public a joint statement in which they announced that they will discuss the votes for the new leadership together.
The Islamic State did not explicitly threaten Di Maio – who had recently chaired a conference against the spread of Islamic terrorism in Africa – but quoted him in a threatening sentence contained in an article on Al Naba, a magazine linked to the group, in which well-known threats against Rome are reiterated and in which it is said that the city will soon be conquered by Islamist fighters. The promise to conquer Rome has long been part of the Islamic State’s propaganda, and has been repeated several times over the years.
In any case, on Saturday numerous politicians, including Prime Minister Mario Draghi, expressed their solidarity with Di Maio for the threats from the Islamic State. Grillo on Facebook wrote:
Luigi Di Maio don’t worry. They are less dangerous than the most aggressive grillini!
Grillo alluded to the violent clashes that in recent weeks have involved the 5 Star Movement, and which have even led to talk of an internal split and an exit of the M5S or part of it from the government.
The most important controversies are mainly two, and both see Grillo, the so-called “guarantor” of the movement, and Giuseppe Conte, considered as de facto leader of the M5S. The first concerns the leadership: Conte would like to approve a new statute that would bring the structure of the M5S closer to that of traditional parties and above all that heavily downsizes the powers and role of Grillo, who responded very harshly, saying that Conte does not have the qualities necessary to become a leader of the movement. Conte seemed about to leave the M5S taking with him a good number of parliamentarians and allies, then Grillo announced the appointment of a committee composed of seven people to try to negotiate.
– Read also: Now Grillo tries to take out Conte
The second and most recent crisis was over the justice reform proposed this week by the government, necessary to obtain European funding from the Recovery Fund. The new proposal modifies several important aspects of the reform approved by the then Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede during the first Conte government, and for this it was harshly criticized by the M5S.
After a long negotiation, especially on the issue of prescription, the government found an agreement, but the controversies within the M5S remained: with Beppe Grillo and the exponents of the movement within the government (including Di Maio) in favor of agreement, and Conte harshly opposed. Conte, the newspapers wrote, felt particularly offended after Draghi phoned Grillo and not him to define the agreement on the reform. In recent days, there has been talk of the possibility that Conte and the parliamentarians of the M5S loyal to him leave the government, even if this possibility seems to have disappeared for now.
– Read also: The government has reached an agreement on the reform of the justice system
In any case, there is a lot of confusion within the movement. Several parliamentarians have already announced that they will not vote for justice reform, others are calling for the exit from the government of all or only a part of the M5S, and even the electorate seems divided.
In the midst of the repeated and harsh clashes between Grillo and Conte, Di Maio – like several other major exponents of the M5S – remained silent. According to the newspapers, between the two contenders, the foreign minister would be closer to Grillo, who would have wanted him back at the head of the movement after having killed Conte. Also on the reform of justice Di Maio supports the agreement found within the government, the same position adopted by Grillo.
In these days Di Maio, with other exponents such as the Minister for Relations with the Parliament Federico D’Incà and the former Minister Stefano Patuanelli, is considered by the newspapers as one of the main mediators, and would be working to seek an agreement between Grillo and With you. According to Corriere della Sera Grillo would be willing to accept Conte as a leader as long as he is supported by an influential and weighty secretariat.