Italy avoids a government crisis, but maintains tension over the European reconstruction fund


Correspondent in Rome

Updated:

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The crisis of Government in Italy was avoided. Today Parliament approves the reform of the European Stability Mechanism, known as the state-saving fund. The fifty parliamentarians of the 5 Star Movement (M5E), who threatened to vote against a resolution on the reform of the European rescue fund, have finally given their approval for the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, to appear this Thursday in Brussels with a positive result.

The rebels of the Movement had shown their rejection of the Mechanism for fear that, if Italy uses that fund, it would see very conditioned its economic policy by Brussels. This is the fundamental reason that has also led the center right to vote against the resolution. In his speech in the Chamber of Deputies, the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, called for cohesion from the governmental majority: “The Government needs the maximum cohesion of the political forces of the majority to continue fighting in the European Union. The dialectical confrontation is a sign of vitality and wealth, but it is undoubtedly healthy that it is done with a constructive spirit and that it does not distract us from the objectives, “he stressed, while calling for opposition to dialogue:” discussion table is always open ».

Tension is maintained

The crisis is going away for now. The Government will not fall because it would be political suicide and nobody is interested in an early general election in full economic crisis and a health emergency due to the coronavirus. But the tension and fragility of the coalition government formed by M5E, the Democratic Party, Italia Viva y Libres e Iguales remains.

Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, with his tiny party, has opened a new front of tension in the Government on how the European Reconstruction Fund should be managed, which will allocate 209,000 million euros to Italy. Renzi criticizes Conte on almost everything, in particular for having marginalized Parliament and acting on his own in choosing the team that should develop the Reconstruction Fund projects. Conte has planned a triumvirate for that management: he personally, accompanied by a minister from the Democratic Party and another from the M5E, relying on six managers, with a hundred experts. Italia Viva would be excluded, which has irritated Renzi, who even threatens with withdrawing his two government ministers. «Conte has planned to do everything himself. You cannot think of using parliament only to convey your views. Now that’s enough, ”said Matteo Renzi.

Faced with resistance from the former prime minister and his party on the plans related to the Fund, Conte had to cancel a Council of Ministers convened for that purpose on Tuesday. Consequently, the Italian head of government travels to Brussels with the approval in parliament of the reform of the ESM, but without yet finalizing his plan for the Reconstruction Fund. Everything is postponed, hoping to come to terms after appropriate mediation, which is always the key in Italian politics. In any event, the delay is a cause for concern for Brussels. Today Giuseppe Conte offers Europe a paradoxical image: It is the reflection of a certain immobility that his government registers as a result of internal tensions, but at the same time the lawyer Conte has become a politician who offers a certain stability in the confused Italian politics .

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