Mario Draghi confirmed before the Senate his availability to continue as Prime Minister of Italy. The decision to reverse his resignation, raised a week ago due to the lack of support from one of the most important parties in his coalition, conditions it to a new confidence pact with the majority political forces. Draghi said the spontaneous displays of support for his government were “unprecedented and impossible to ignore.”
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has reconsidered continuing as head of government, but under certain conditions. To continue governing, the economist asked the political forces of the majority “to rebuild a trust pact.”
He then asked them three times if “are you ready?” for a national unity coalition, before questioning them again: “Are you ready to confirm the effort you have made in the first few months? You don’t have to give me the answer. You have to give it to all Italians.”
The crisis erupted last Thursday, July 14, when the 5-Star Movement (M5S) did not vote on a confidence vote for its own government and distanced itself from the rest of its partners, which led Draghi to present his resignation, alleging that he he had agreed to rule with the support of all parties. The resignation was rejected by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
However, the great support received in recent hours from political leaders, mayors, medical associations and ordinary citizens, as well as outside of Italy, made Draghi give up leaving and on the morning of this Wednesday, July 20 appeared before the Senate to explain the open crisis of his Government.
Italy faces high inflation, rising energy prices and the implementation of a plan to use some 200 billion euros in the European Union’s pandemic recovery funds.
“The only way, if we want to continue together, is to rebuild this pact from the beginning, with courage, altruism and credibility. Above all, Italians ask for it,” Draghi explained to the Senate, where he reviewed the achievements of these 17 months of Government, from the vaccination campaign to his strong support for Ukraine in the war against Russia.
Draghi stressed that “the mobilization these days by citizens, associations, territories in favor of the continuity of the Government is unprecedented and impossible to ignore.”
What would happen if there is no agreement between the parties?
Now the parties – which include from progressive to far-right formations with the sole exception of the Brothers of Italy (extreme right) – must jointly vote on a motion of confidence this Wednesday in the Senate and tomorrow (Thursday) in the Chamber of Deputies , where the session will be similar. Depending on the result, it will be known if the prime minister finally resigns or not.
But it won’t be easy. After Draghi’s speech, the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, at the head of the only opposition formation, denounced that the prime minister “intends full powers” to stay in government and demanded an immediate electoral advance.
#draghi arrived in Parliament and di fatto chiede pieni poteri, supporting che glielo hanno chiesto gli italiani. Ma in a democrazia the popular will if it expresses only with the vote, non sulle piattaforme grilline or with gli appelli of the PD.
— Giorgia Meloni 🇮🇹 ن (@GiorgiaMeloni) July 20, 2022
“Draghi arrives in Parliament and de facto claims full powers, arguing that the Italians are asking for it (…) it is the autocracies that claim to represent the people without allowing citizens to vote, not the Western democracies. Brothers of Italy do not intend to second this dangerous drift,” said the politician, an ally of the Spaniards from Vox.
The national unity coalition that Draghi has chaired since February 2021, supported by everyone except Meloni, broke up because of the M5S when senators from this party boycotted the confidence vote on a bill to deal with the economic crisis.
M5S leader Giuseppe Conte complained that his forces had been humiliated and ignored by other coalition parties and delivered a nine-point set of demands for Draghi to accept, including the movement’s flagship promise of a basic income. and a minimum wage.
Il M5s in permanent meeting, Conte has not decided. Ma la scissione è a step [di Matteo Pucciarelli, Lorenzo De Cicco] https://t.co/HMTwN3ZLxK
— Republic (@repubblica) July 20, 2022
In his speech on Wednesday, Draghi addressed some of the Movement’s concerns, including assurances that basic income and minimum wage are in the plans. “A real social agenda is needed” to deal with rising energy costs and rising inflation, he said.
The problem now is that, if the majority does not reach an agreement to support Draghi, the most likely option is for the head of government to call early elections, which should be held in late September or early October, at a time of enormous social and economic uncertainty.
It will be necessary to see if the M5S maintains its position, but it is also in doubt what the right-wing groups can do, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Matteo Salvini’s League, who threaten to force the elections.
With AP and EFE
Source: France 24