Government Crisis: What Now? What are the ways out


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That the crisis was inevitable was clear long before it became effective with the resignation of the two ministers and the undersecretary of Italia Viva from the government. The way out is not so clear. There are many possible scenarios: from reshuffling to elections. All in the midst of a pandemic and with 70% of Italians who say they did not understand how the crisis broke out.

According to Prime Minister Conte, “Italia Viva has taken on the serious responsibility of opening the crisis in full pandemic, causing serious damage to the country”. On the other side Matteo Renzi he says that it is not his party that has created the crisis and that his own are ready to remain in the majority, “ready to vote on the anticovid measures, the budget variance and the refreshment decree.” Conte, however, no longer wants to deal with Renzi. From here the first hypothesis opens.


The prime minister could freeze the crisis until January 20, taking him as the interim of the two ministries, agriculture and family. The Quirinale would be ready to wait. This would allow the vote on the budget gap and the new refreshments to be allowed. After that, however, the crisis would have to be addressed.


Conte could go to the Quirinale to the President of the Republic and resign. The head of state could reject them and therefore give a re-appointment, but the premier would not make this move in the dark, but only with the certainty of having a new executive. Conte needs time to recreate a majority: now it seems unlikely with Italia Viva inside, accepting Renzi’s requests. It seems more possible to carry it out with those who have been defined as responsible, parliamentarians from other parties ready to support the executive. This idea, however, does not appeal very much to the head of state who has always said that a solid majority was needed.


Conte could go immediately to report to the Chambers (as the opposition wants, which threatens to block the works) and understand in Parliament if there is a way to support the government. Since Italia Viva has said it will vote on urgent measures, there is no rush and the government would have the numbers to govern. In Parliament Conte could also ask for trust and therefore see, with an open challenge to Renzi, if there are the numbers to govern precisely with those responsible who would come to the rescue. If there were no ball, it would pass to the Quirinale with consultations and, ultimately, the dissolution of the elections, which nobody wants in the Center Left.


To many observers it seemed clear that the question raised by Renzi is about a name, that of Conte, even if the leader of Italia Viva claims not to have prejudices and to discuss the merits. Pd and Movimento 5 stelle would be ready to support the premier in office again. Rather than going to the elections, the scenario that the Center Right wants, they could accept another name even if for now they say no to an institutional executive.

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