After months of struggles (still in progress) within the government made up of the extravagant majority composed of the League and the 5 Stars Movement (Salvini and Di Maio) who had the discussed Turin–Lyon high-speed TAV train as main topic, the situation is not the best, at least for the 5 Stars Movement intent on making NO TAV a political manifesto to stop the hemorrhage of votes that apparently seem to come straight to the League.
Surveys aside, to try to understand the next European challenge, it is necessary to have in mind the scores of the recent regional elections, which saw the League return momentarily ‘at home’ in the traditional centre-right coalition together with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the conservative Fratelli d’Italia led by Giorgia Meloni.
Both Abruzzo and Sardinia (for a more complete score we will have to wait until May, which will see two more local elections days) have seen the centre-right coalition win with 48% of the votes. An excellent result for the coalition, which kindly brought down the Democratic Party and its civic lists (centre-left), which in both cases stopped below 35%.
But let’s analyse the truly astounding result, which powerfully marked the internal relations to the yellow-green majority: it is that of the 5 Stars Movement, which in Sardinia has collapsed from 43% of the 2018 political elections (only a year ago) to a poor 11%, with the prompt justification of Luigi Di Maio: “at the local level we always take a few votes”.
The question that hovers in the rooms of Italian buttons is clear: what will happen to the government if the 5 Stars will officially collapse during the Europeans elections? Salvini is now the most powerful political figure within the Government. He is expecting the greater electoral boom of all–time; could he be interested in pulling the plug and pushing President Mattarella to dissolve the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies? Would Salvini be interested in presenting himself again in the elections with the traditional centre-right coalition?
We do not know. But we know that relations between the League Leader and Berlusconi are now sporadic and confused. Most of the parliamentarians of the Forza Italia group strongly maintain, openly, a negative opinion on this government.
Meanwhile, the centre-left wing Democratic Party has elected its new leader at their congress: Nicola Zingaretti (brother of the actor who for years has been the protagonist of the successful series “The commissioner Montalbano” taken from the books of Andrea Camilleri) that seems to want to score a new path for the Italian left, going beyond the Renzi liberal period and moving further to the left, albeit always in the wake of social democratic Europeanism
Anyways, in a “question mark period”, one thing is certain: if the protagonist of these elections will be Europe and the different conceptions for its governance, we will have an Italian cake cut into many, many slices. Forza Italia, Fratelli d’Italia, and the League could have a more parliamentary and intergovernmental vision in common, while the left could fight for a more federalist one. But the question of their affiliation still remains: if in Italy the three parties can be seen as three different visions attributable to the same political position, in Europe they belong to three different groups: Forza Italia is now the only party above 10% of the Italian delegation to the EPP. The league will certainly be the most influential group in the future ENF, while Fratelli d’Italia still sits with the British Conservatives in the ECR group. These differences exclude a priori a hypothetical united front against the left and the 5 Stars.
For the moment we have no way of knowing on what topics the electoral campaign will be carried out. What is certain is that the “transversal” populism of the 5 Stars Movement in Italy is already going out of fashion. An important sign, which certainly will be taken into consideration by the parties in the coming days, is the Eurobarometer survey on the appreciation of Europe and Euro, which sees 65% of Italians in favour of the European project, with a veto: more attention and solidarity with regard to the very serious migration issue.
Time will tell. Meanwhile, enjoy the campaign, Bullseye friends!