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The government coalition in Italy before the moment of truth

August 20, 2019

A new alliance between the M5S and the PD or early elections, the most likely exits to the crisis opened by Salvini

ROME, Aug. 20 (DPA / EP) –

The moment of truth has arrived for the government coalition in Italy. The speech that will be offered on Tuesday in the Senate by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will mark the way forward in the coming weeks after League leader Matteo Salvini decided to break his alliance with the 5 Star Movement (M5S ) by Luigi di Maio.

Conte's intervention is scheduled for 3 pm and it is expected to defend his performance and attacks Salvini, who has already criticized heavily in recent days as a result of his decision to blow up a coalition that Since the beginning of its journey in March 2018 it has been complicated.

Then, the prime minister could face a motion of censure or even submit on his own initiative his resignation to the president of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

In any case, analysts and experts agree that Salvini's desire to force early elections in order to capitalize on the good data of his party in the polls and thus become prime minister, has encountered difficulties.

ALLIANCE BETWEEN M5S AND PD

The M5S, an anti-system party, and the Democratic Party (PD), the main opposition force, are considering the possibility of joining forces and leaving the League out of power.

The idea would be to avoid early elections in which the Di Maio party and the PD would probably not be well off and avoid a political crisis that distracts legislators from critical budgetary issues. Italy needs to prepare a budget for 2020 to keep its huge public debt under control and avoid a sharp VAT increase that will occur automatically in January if no alternative measures are found.

However, a pact between the M5S and the Democrats is complicated since both parties have so far been strong opponents, which makes the alliance difficult to swallow for both sides. In addition, any unpopular measure that his eventual government was forced to take could further increase Salvini's popularity, which would be free to unleash his criticism since the opposition.

ROLE OF THE PRESIDENT

Although the ruling coalition in Italy was declared 'dead' weeks ago, the government crisis will only begin formally once Conte resigns or loses the parliamentary vote. Next, Mattarella will enter the scene, who will consult with the leaders of the political parties to evaluate the options of forming a new government or calling early elections.

The process usually takes a couple of days, after which Mattarella could ask someone to try to form a government or dissolve Parliament, triggering the process to go back to the polls.

POSSIBLE NEW GOVERNMENT?

All options are open. Although Conte seems to be out, he could be renamed prime minister to lead a coalition between the M5S and the PD. He could also maintain the position in the unlikely event that Salvini and Di Maio make peace, perhaps by way of a cabinet remodeling.

In recent days, the League leader has promised that he will continue to support the constitutional reform sponsored by the M5S that will reduce the number of parliamentarians. The final vote is scheduled for Thursday in the Chamber of Deputies but cannot be held if the Government falls beforehand.

In the event that a government between the M5S and the PD materializes, it could be headed by someone other than Conte, to whom some speculate that the position reserved for Italy could be offered in the new European Commission that will start in November.

If the conversations between the M5S and the PD fail and the holding of early elections turns out to be the only solution, it is likely that Mattarella will designate a short-term technocratic government that assumes the day-to-day management and prepares the vote.

This would guarantee that Salvini, who is Minister of the Interior, would be replaced by someone more neutral, given that his department is in charge of organizing the elections. These should be held between 45 and 70 days after the dissolution of Parliament, so October 27 and November 3 are considered as the most likely dates.