There is heavy air in the parts of Montecitorio. Between the government partners the rift is consumed on the civil rights front. Between the Zan bill and the prolonged red zone, Salvini raises the level of the clash. “But the government will last until the election of the President of the Republic”
In the button rooms, some seams are likely to jump. The point is to understand what is really at stake. These days the arrows between the new secretary of the Democratic Party Enrico Letta and the leader of the Northern League Matteo Salvini have characterized the other side of the public debate. Out of the emergency, the Ddl Zan (on homotransphobia) and the related parliamentary path continue to be minefields. In addition, after having preached discontinuity, Salvini finds himself in the grip of government decisions (of which his party is an integral part), which in fact legitimize the line of closure undertaken by Conte. On this it was the premier himself who contained the Northern League’s grievances and led him back to milder advice. The mood, therefore, continues to spread. So what is at stake is the stability of the Executive? To shed light on these shadow cones that risk weighing on the good health of the Government and, electorally, on the appeal of the Carroccio, we asked for an opinion from Giovanni Orsina, historian and director of the School of Government at Luiss.
Professor Orsina, the differences between the Democratic Party and the League are inevitably emerging on ethical issues and on the rights front. Is the future of the government at stake on the Zan Bill?
On this front it is not impossible that the frictions between the two government partners become relevant. And it would certainly not be easy, in fact, to credit the thesis that it is a parliamentary procedure in its own right independent of the balance of the government structure. In the end, Mario Draghi may have to intervene to appease the spirits.
The ground remains slippery
Yes, also because in the end Draghi could still find himself forced to take a stand: even washing his hands of it leaving the question to parliament would be a political choice. In any case, it seems to me a weak reason to open a government crisis, in these historical circumstances, both in one direction and in the other.
Even the relations between Prime Minister Draghi and the leader of the Northern League, in this period, are not entirely irenic. On the reopening front, Salvini’s stance was clear. Could a tear be consumed?
In my view, even on this front, we need to line up a series of elements and separate the interest and electoral purposes from the contingencies linked to the Government. I feel I can exclude at the moment that Salvini can tear up and take a step back, withdrawing the League from the majority. Probably he would have expected from Draghi a line of greater discontinuity than the Conte Bis. But, on balance, the pandemic situation remains serious and Draghi’s choices are necessarily affected by a direction already taken previously.
On the electoral front, can this cause problems for the League?
I honestly don’t know. This government on the one hand on generalized closures is moving in the wake traced by the Giallorossi. On the other hand, there are also several points of discontinuity (from the vaccine plan to the removal of Domenico Arcuri in favor of Francesco Paolo Figliuolo) on which, I presume, the Carroccio will try to leverage. It is difficult to predict how the voters will react.
The other half of the sky is making its way into the center-right people. The sentinel of the opposition, Giorgia Meloni, reaps preferences. And Salvini knows it. Is it possible that it makes a leap to the right and creates an alternative structure that leads the country to the polls?
Under current conditions it seems highly unlikely to me. It is true that Salvini, as we have seen, is capable of suddenly changing direction. Today, however, a maneuver of this type would be very difficult for him too. Obviously, the ‘problem’ of Meloni’s consensus is more than real. But I have the impression that Salvini will try to deal with it as he is doing now: remaining in government and trying wherever he can to stand out. Two thirds in the majority and one third in the opposition, so to speak.
So, what scenario do you envision in terms of duration for this executivo?
To date, it seems unlikely that Draghi will not reach the election of the new Head of State. We’ll see.
Even if Salvini and Letta quarrel?
Eh, but it is normal, it is – so to speak – the “minimum trade union”: democracy and politics must also continue with the themes of the ‘Governissimo’. Letta is reuniting the Democratic Party by reconstructing its identity in an anti-Salvini key. Salvini, as mentioned, must stand out despite being in the government. It’s all part of the party game.