Agreement on Justice reform – part three

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The Council of Ministers has given the green light to the new text on the reform of Justice, which was challenged by the populist M5S (at the cost of threatening the abstention in the Cabinet meeting to see its demands accepted) and then by the requests for changes by co-ruling forces.

After a three-week negotiation with heated debates, the synthesis on the reform reached under Minister Marta Cartabia allows each party to claim victory in electors’ eyes and to get rid of the tensions that had accumulated dangerously within the majority during the last few days of intense negotiations.

Thus the M5S can congratulate with itself for having obtained a longer prosecution for mafia crimes; the League for its extension to drug and sexual violence offenses; the Democratic Party celebrates the presence of the transitional rule on the entry into force of the reform; Forza Italia rejoices for a bill deemed to be finally well-balanced; Italia Viva welcomes with satisfaction the cancellation of the previous Bonafede reform.

At this point, Prime Minister Mario Draghi can therefore hope for the approval of the text before the summer break, aiming for maximum support in Parliament and to avoid any insidious showdown. A postponement or worse, a rejection of the reform would have produced incalculable damage to Italy’s credibility on the eve of the arrival of the first €25 billion tranche of European funds, as well as at a time when the economy finally seems to have returned to growth after the crisis of the last year.

A possible parliamentary showdown would have exposed the Movement to yet another risk-split, putting the pro-government wing represented by Minister Luigi Di Maio against the more combative one gathered around the new leader Giuseppe Conte. Despite having failed the double objective of burying the reform or heavily modifying its contents, the former prime minister managed to achieve the important goal of keeping the 5-Stars together in a time of serious internal crisis – although his alleged skills as a demiurge capable of giving answer to the thousand contradictions of the Movement were heavily reduced by the negotiations with the government.

The one who comes out really strengthened by the battle over justice is Prime Minister Draghi, who on the eve of the white semester brings home a fundamental political result and further consolidates his leadership at Palazzo Chigi after having overcome the crossfire of the parties.

Nonetheless, the next few months will be tiring and fraught with pitfalls, especially when the impossibility of dissolving the Parliament in view of the election of the next head of State will give new arguments and points of controversy to political forces always in search of visibility and looking for their ancient influence.

So the big question that hovers over the future of the government will be precisely to understand to what extent Draghi will be able to tolerate what is heralding as a season full of turbulence and in which Parliament will necessarily have to adopt a series of key measures for the future of the country.

The big news that emerges from the push and pull on justice is the fact that for the first time in recent republican history, parties are forced to negotiate with a prime minister willing to leave his post at Palazzo Chigi if forced to, without aiming for early elections or looking for any “responsible” MP to keep the coalition on its feet in unlikely castle in power.

Better to nail the actors of the system to their partisan responsibilities, in the clear awareness that no leader or political group could think of surviving the fall of the third government of the legislature, let alone be able to build anything for the aftermath.