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Global Overview Magazine

Revista de actualidad política, religiosa, económica, social, cultural, científica y educativa con alcance internacional
ISSN 2618-1916


Agradecemos a la Profesora Barbara Lattanzi, el presente artículo sobre la actual situación italiana
Prof. Eduardo Luis Moggia
Barbara G.V. Lattanzi
After more than 2 months from the election day (4 march 2018) Italy has found an agreement on the name of the prime minister and the planning and political direction of the legislative activity. The “government contract” subscribed some days ago by the Lega and the Movimento Cinque Stelle should be the schedule of the reforms on welfare, taxation, security and other important issues.
The new prime minister and political leader is professor Giuseppe Conte, who is new to the task, but definitely skilled. In Italy the government is lead by the president of the Minister’s Council (or prime minister).
The electoral result on the 4th march showed an overall distrust in the parties that have been holding the government during the two last decades. Emerging parties are the Lega, with its leader Matteo Salvini, a right wing party which is trying to oppose to the heavy immigration from Africa and propose a reform taxation system’s reform known as flat tax or, anyway, a reduction of the taxation progressivity (which is ordered by the Italian Republic Constitution – First part art. 53). Lega showed a strong electoral support and it is now third most voted party, first of the right wing coalition.
The majority (more than 30%) of the population voted for the Movimento Cinque Stelle, a relatively new party, lead by young Luigi di Maio and sponsored by comedian Beppe Grillo. It proposes a universal unemployment benefit, similar – but not same - to most European countries, and other forms of support to reduce poverty. Both parties are critical of the European governance and financial treaties and wish to cancel the recent laws on retirement pensions (known as Legge Fornero) and labor (known as Jobs Act), that have been pushing the country towards a worsening of the financial crises through the contraction of the domestic demand. Both are skeptical towards the Euro, the functioning of the European monetary politics.
The reaction of the Italian voters doesn’t surprise. Italians are asking for a change and they hope for an improvement of the financial asset.
Most commentators and voters are now criticizing the “flat tax” or reduction of the taxation progressivity, which is feared to deepen the gap between the extreme quintiles of the income distribution, thus worsening the already heavy inequality between the richest and the poorest classes. A change has to come and Europe will be looking at our country, let’s hope for the best.
The formation of this government hasn’t been easy. President of the Republic Mattarella interfered more than necessary on the selection of the ministers. According to the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the appointed President of the Council decides the names of the government team and the President of the Republic formally instructs them. This time Mattarella refused to appoint one of the ministers, professor Savona, as chief of the Ministry of Economy, thus inducing professor Conte to dismiss the charge. The following days can be described as moments of anxiety and anger. Media, voters and politicians arguing excitedly on Mattarella’s grave behavior and on the Constitution’s interpretation: was this legal or did he abuse of his power ignoring the first article which clearly states that the Republic is informed by the principle of democracy and, consequently, that the sovereignty belongs to the people.
In his speech Mattarella affirmed that the refusal of Paolo Savona as Minister of Economy was due to his criticism of the Euro and European treaties and that this could worry the investors. He motivated his decision as a way to protect the Italian people’s savings. In fact, the article 47 of the Constitution mentions the protection of the savings but not as a function of the President, since this task is attributed to other institutions (National Bank, Minster of Economy).
As a matter of fact, Mattarella’s abnormal behavior didn’t assure any investor. The spread rose vertiginously and the Milan Stock Exchange collapsed as he appointed dr. Cottarelli, a former consultant of the International Monetary Fund as Prime Minister, ignoring the Parliament’s will.
Two days later dr. Cottarelli elegantly divested the office and stated a new possibility of a “political” government. The same day Giuseppe Conte went back to the President’s office with a partially different list of ministers, including prof. Savona as Minister of the European affairs.
What was more surprising and annoying – almost inacceptable for most Italians – was the heavy attempt at interference of foreign politicians and media. German newspapers and magazines performing unhealthy alarmism about the rise of the “Populisten” in the peninsula, European Commissioner for Budget Günther Oettinger almost threatening statements ("Wir haben Vertrauen in den Präsidenten Italiens, der Koalitionspartner möglicher Regierungen auf ihre Rechte und Pflichten hinweist, die sich aus der Mitgliedschaft der Europäischen Union und der Eurozone ergeben" … "Meine Sorge ist und meine Erwartung ist, dass die nächsten Wochen zeigen, dass die Märkte, dass die Staatsanleihen, dass die Wirtschaftsentwicklung Italiens so einschneidend sein könnten, dass dies für die Wähler doch ein mögliches Signal ist, nicht Populisten von Links und Rechts zu wählen."), the President of the European Commission’s offending and shallow prejudices among others.
Others appreciated the Italian’s hope for democracy and change, like Steve Bannon, who performed a speech in Italy soon after Mattarella’s unexpected refusal, strongly criticizing him and calling Italians to fight for their rights against the “Davos Party” secretly and illegally ruling on their economic politics.
Since Mattarella finally accepted Savona as chief of a different – yet important – Ministry, and appointed Giovanni Tria as Minister of Economy, who is not too hostile to the European economic politics, but still critic (in Italy there are almost no more politologists or economists fairly tolerating the European Union as it is), some people think that some other factor must have pushed the President to the point of forcing to change the team of the executive. One of the key role nowadays is played by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, we notice that the new list displays a very conservative appointed, who “will not arouse any jealousy, nor consume any vengeance” (La Repubblica news, 5/31/2018).