Government crisis in Italy: No confidence in the Five Stars: Mario Draghi’s coalition is about to break
Rome For a year and a half it was pretty quiet about Italy’s otherwise erratic politics. Mario Draghi was elected prime minister in February 2021 and brought stability to the country during the corona crisis, also thanks to the large left-to-right party majority supporting him in parliament. But that could be over now: after hours of negotiations, the co-governing Five Star Movement decided to abstain from an important Senate vote on an economic stimulus package this Thursday.
Days of power skirmishes could now turn into a real government crisis. Draghi has recently emphasized several times that he does not want to continue governing without the Five Star Movement.
Three weeks ago, it was the left, the largest government party to date, that shook up Italy’s politics. At that time, a pro-government group led by Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio split from the stars in a dispute over arms deliveries to Ukraine, and more than 60 former parliamentarians are now in it of the new faction “Together for the future”.
The stimulus package being discussed in the Senate today aims to help families and businesses deal with the energy crisis. Giuseppe Conte, five-star boss and Draghi’s predecessor as prime minister, presented a series of socio-political demands last week – and made them a condition for remaining in the coalition.
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“We will not take part in tomorrow’s vote,” said Conte on Wednesday evening. “We are absolutely ready for dialogue in order to make our constructive contribution to the government and to Draghi.” But one is not ready to issue a blank check.
The opposition has been calling for early elections for some time. Now the call for it is also coming from the ranks of the coalition: Matteo Salvini, head of the right-wing Lega, who is co-governing, no longer wants to support Draghi if the five stars leave the alliance. The Democratic Party (PD) is apparently not prepared to form a new government without the Five Stars, according to party circles.
There was no statement from Draghi on Thursday morning. He recently called on the parties to stop issuing ultimatums and continue to support the government. The term of office of the former central banker normally runs until the spring of next year, after which a new parliament will be elected.
More: Italy before the election campaign – a country in political limbo