On Sergio Mattarella and the New Government in Italy

Yesterday, May 27th, in a move which some believed to be unconstitutional and some believed to be historical, Sergio Mattarella blocked the formation of the government which was supposed to be indeed one of the most reactionary governments ever to have ruled in Europe after the Second World War. Lega and M5S, the two anti-establishment parties, that held a very low regard of each other, finally formed a coalition to rule the second European country with the highest deficit after Greece.

What the President did had nothing to do with the fact that Giuseppe Conte, the choice of the coalition for premiership, had a falsified CV with working experiences in Sorbonne and New York University that never existed. It was not about Matteo Salvini, the secretary of Lega who had vowed to arrest and deport 500,000 illegal immigrants, being the appointee as the Secretary of Interior either. One could have thought that the appointment of Lorenzo Fontana as the Secretary of Family, who has had harsh positions against the LGBTQ community and is a typical nuclear family advocate, could be the right reason to block such an attempt. Luigi Di Maio is indeed a hot topic as well, but with him being the new Italian political rock star, few people would have thought him as the Secretary of Labor an incorrect choice. The effort was eventually blocked due to the appointment of Paolo Savona as the Secretary of Economy, an economist who is known for his eurosceptic views, fearing that he might eventually have pushed for an Italexit.

A transition government has just been introduced with an IMF agent, visibly in contrast with the popular vote, in charge of a new government. Carlo Cottarelli is supposed to go for a confidence vote show down in a parliament with Lega and M5S in majority.

What Mr. Mattarella did yesterday, despite his belief to have favored Italians and their interests, has indeed been an unexpected gift to Lega, and probably to M5S, for their reactionary agenda; strengthening their will to push forward for an Italy outside European Union. Politicians who lack a genuine point of view and fail to make progressive decisions, in the end, turn to be an extra leverage for the reactionary forces.

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