Italy Still in Caretaker Mode

Democracy, Economics, Elections, European Politics, Government, Italy, Media, Rundown

Almost three months after the elections for the Italian Parliament, Paolo Gentiloni of the Democratic Party was, until May 21, still caretaker Prime Minister, despite the resounding victory of the Centre-Right Alliance, dominated by Matteo Salvini’s Lega, and the “Movimento Cinque Stelle”, known better in English as the 5 Star Movement, in the March general elections.

Luigi di Maio, the leader of M5S, negotiated with Salvini to create the Governo del Cambiamento (“Government of Change”), and since March have been painstakingly negotiating which portfolios would be allocated to which parties. Finally, they agreed on Giuseppe Conte, a law professor, as the recommendation to President Sergio Mattarella to lead the Council of Ministers, after both parties held internal polls to vindicate support for their program. In each party, >90% of respondents supported the program, and on May 23, President Mattarella invited Conte to form government.

However, on May 27, Mattarella refused to commission Paolo Savona – a notorious Eurosceptic – as Economy Minister, and as the President must commission the entire Council of Ministers, Conte resigned himself to the fact that Mattarella was not going to accept the entire list. As such, Mattarella summoned ex-IMF economist Carlo Cottarelli, and gave him the task of forming a new government the next day.

Already, there is much anger across Italy and the Italian diaspora worldwide. Di Maio has called for Mattarella’s impeachment, and even opponents of M5S and Lega have criticised what is seen to be an ideological position by the President.