The Strategist

Silvio Berlusconi's supporter takes up formation of the Italian government

04/19/2018 - 14:26

The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, handed to the Speaker of the Senate Elisabetta Casellati an exploratory (trial) mandate, which implies checking the possibility of forming a parliamentary majority on the basis of the "Right Center" and the "Five Star" movement. The country needs to accelerate the sluggish process of government formation because of aggravation of confrontation between the West and Russia, in which Italy played the role of an intermediary in recent years.

Sarah-Rose via flickr
Sarah-Rose via flickr
For a month and a half, since the parliamentary elections on March 4, the situation with the formation of the government has been suspended. All this time, Matteo Salvini (leader of the right bloc with 37% of votes) and Luigi Di Maio (leader of the Five Star movement with 32% voted) were considering themselves winners but did not have parliamentary support to form the government by their own forces. Yet, they continued to insist that it is they who own the right to form the parliament.

In fact, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio were looking for ways of further rapprochement, but Silvio Berlusconi was a stumbling block on this path. The Five Stars Movement flatly refused to create a government coalition with the convict former ex-prime minister. At the same time, the Five Stars were ready to cooperate with Matteo Salvini and his League of the North. Against this backdrop, the catalyst for the formation of the government was an attack conducted by the United States, Britain and France in Syria. Then, the pretenders to the premiership were finally demanded to publicly determine their foreign policy. 

The Huffington Post commentator Angela Mauro is confident that Matteo Salvini's condemnation of the US and its support for Russia (he was the only politician who took this position) deprived him of a prospect to get a mandate from President to form a government, given the fact that Italy is part of NATO and has obligations to Western allies.

As the newspaper La Repubblica noted, even American bombs did not force Italian politicians to hurry with finding a government consensus on foreign policy. As a result, President Sergio Mattarella had to take the lead and instructed Senate Speaker Elisabetta Casellati to decide whether a parliamentary majority could be built on the basis of the Right Center and the Five Star movement. This is what is meant by the exploratory, in other words, the trial mandate, received by the 72-year-old companion of Silvio Berlusconi. 

Such a configuration will be the last attempt to form a government coalition by the forces of conditional election winners. In case of its failure, in addition to early elections, there is still another scenario: an attempt to create a coalition between the Five Star movement and the Democratic Party.