Nothing is decided yet. From now until the end of the month, Giuseppe Conte must prepare the new Statute and the Charter of principles and values. And most importantly, he must be elected M5S leader. Yet, for a few days, the rumor that the former prime minister attempted to impose “a radical change” to the line of the M5S has become increasingly insistent.
The first step would be to establish “a visible distance” from Mario Draghi, towards whom the former people’s lawyer has never hidden a certain resentment for the eviction from Palazzo Chigi of which the former head of the ECB was innocent protagonist. In short, the Contiana-led M5S would begin to do like Matteo Salvini’s League, which did not spare and spares the government nothing on reopening, migrants and justice. Conte would become a real thorn in Draghi’s side, both to recover identity and to make the voice of the Movement heard, as a senator close to the M5S leader would say. And the announcement should take place at the July convention scheduled in Rome.
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The second step, after this escalation which should have its peak towards the end of July, would be the exit from the government. The date has already been set: August 3, the day on which the white semester will start and Sergio Mattarella will no longer be able to dissolve Parliament and send deputies and senators home almost two years in advance.
That the idea is not strange is demonstrated by a declaration, passed to the most unnoticed, a couple of days ago by the Count’s deputy Angelo Tofalo: “We responded in a mature way to the appeal of the head of state to secure our country supporting this government. There is certainly still a lot to do, but the light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to show and I think we must ask ourselves if it is still really necessary to support the Draghi government. Maybe not anymore. I will raise this issue to Conte and to the ministers of the M5S ».
Thus the Great Temptation grows in the former premier. For three reasons. The first: going to the opposition (Draghi would still have sufficient numbers even in the Senate) would allow Conte to return (at least in part) to the M5S the virginity of the anti-system movement. And this could interrupt the inexorable decline that has seen the grillini halve their voting wealth from 2018 to today. In addition, in view of the autumn elections in the big cities (Rome, Milan, Naples, Turin, Bologna, etc), the change of phase could serve to avoid yet another electoral collapse. «If we stop supporting Draghi», says a senator from 5Stelle of struggle and little government, «we can get back at least part of the votes we lost and that ended up at Meloni. If FdI continues to grow it is only because it is alone in the opposition … ».
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The second reason that should push Conte out of the government is internal. If he remained motionless, limiting himself to raising his voice on the individual dossiers as Salvini (and sometimes the dem Enrico Letta) does, it could hardly cushion the push of the Orthodox tempted by the split. And it certainly would not defuse the counter-movement project put in place by Davide Casaleggio.
The third reason concerns the merits: the former people’s lawyer, who rejected Luigi Di Maio’s turnaround by proving faithful to the Grillina orthodoxy, is described as “deeply discontented” by the government’s moves on justice, infrastructure and the environment. Dossier, the latter, where the Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani ended up in the crosshairs, passed from friend to enemy due to drills, incinerators and the hypothesis of returning to nuclear power.
Three reasons so valid that the close collaborators of the former prime minister confirm the first step: “It is certain that Giuseppe will make Draghi hear the voice of the M5S loudly”. And they do not exclude disengagement from the government: “We still don’t know …”. Which is valid as confirmation: the hypothesis exists, it is firmly standing. And it is probably more than a temptation. “We will wait for a casus belli, an accident on one of our flagship themes, to announce the tear …”, foresees a deputy who professes fidelity to the lawyer of Volturara Appula.
If Conte does not come out it is not only because he is waiting to be crowned leader of the Movement. The former premier is well aware that the governor wing of the M5S led by Luigi Di Maio is ready to climb the barricades. And he knows just as well that leaving the government would mean renouncing to participate in the management of the 248 billion of the Recovery Plan, even if the Grillini ministers are certainly not the ones who will have the “heavy” spending items in hand. In addition, Conte knows that the revolt of most of the parliamentarians could be triggered: in the event of disengagement from the government, grillini deputies and senators believe early elections next June likely, once the new head of state has been elected. Knowing full well that few of them will return to Parliament (also due to the cut of seats from 945 to 600). Conte instead cultivates the ambition to measure and consolidate his leadership as soon as possible with the electoral test. Then to have from his parliamentary groups (albeit small) faithful and homogeneous. Another reason that is still holding back the former prime minister is the relationship with the Democratic Party. Breaking with Draghi and going to the opposition would mean dismissing (perhaps definitively) the hypothesis of an organic alliance with the dem. But the project of the “progressive front” has yet to take off, as shown by the failures (apart from Naples) in the negotiations for mayoral candidates in the big cities.
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