What's going on in Italy, or a very brief introduction to irrationality

A very dear friend of mine asked me last week: "Seriously, what is Italy's problem with keeping a government for more than a year?". He is German, I thought, and is not used to this dancing politics of ours. Well, probably not even we Italians are. Or at least, we are not able to give a rational explication to all that, especially because we spent the last 20 years in debating about the absolute value of government stability -- sometimes even at expenses of parliamentary representativeness.

Even less, it is not easy to understand the statistic tendency of the Italian Democratic Party to kill their Prime Ministers in charge, once a new party leader is elected: it was this way in 2008 with Romano Prodi and Walter Veltroni (at least in part, considering that the institutional crisis was even more complicated than that) and now with Enrico Letta and Matteo Renzi, the reasons of the former's government crisis are quite inexplicable otherwise than the "excessive ambition" as publicly stated by Renzi himself.

What is going to happen now is likely that Renzi's first government will be formally invested by President of Republic Giorgio Napolitano within Saturday, 22nd, and present itself in front of the Chamber fo Deputies and the Senate of the Republic to obtain a vote of confidence.

Yes, but which will the majority will be? Well, considering the current political landscape, the majority should be pretty much the same that supported the Letta's government (Democratic Party+Civic Choice+New Centre-Right+others) and even some turmoils of Angelino Alfano, NCR's leader and ex political heir of Silvio Berlusconi, should end in a soap bubble, considering the ghost of early elections that would make his party disappear -- and that President Napolitano is not so keen to call.

So, the question is: what can Renzi do more, with that same political support, than what Letta could not? The answer: probably nothing, but he largely won the party (open) congress in December, so he thinks just for that being more pleasant to Italian people.

All of this while the Italian European semester and European elections are approaching and no party -- not even the "liberal galaxy" under the coordination of Guy Verhofstadt -- has yet presented a list of candidates not to mention a political platform to address the concrete and dramatic challenges the Union is still far to face in an effective and credible way in the eyes of its 500 million citizens.

Are you still confused? Welcome and join the club!

 

Ermanno Martignetti is juridical and political assistant at the Regional Council of Tuscany and executive committee member of the Italian ELF-affiliated association LibMov - Movimento Liberali.

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February 20 2014

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