Draghi at the tie-break. The long game of government.

The Draghi government crisis unfolded in an afternoon that seemed never-ending. First the confidence obtained in the Senate on the Decree law on Aid, with the 5Stelle walking out of the Assembly hall, effectively opening the political crisis, then Draghi’s first ascent to the Quirinal to confront Mattarella, then the meeting of the Cdm, on the sidelines of which the Premier communicates his willingness to resign, and finally the second ascent to the Quirinal to deliver his resignation to the Head of State, punctually rejected to the sender. The crisis, then, is parliamentarized: on Wednesday, Draghi will report to the Parliament on whether the majority still supports the government.

The scenarios are varied and complex. It is clear that the President of the Republic would like to keep the Prime Minister in his place and wants to try all possible solutions to convince him. And the markets are also asking for it, as The Wall Street Journal also explained on its website just yesterday afternoon, pointing to Draghi as “the only one capable of restoring stability and growth to the Italian economy, succeeding in a feat in which the various political classes had failed since the 1990s”. After all, the reaction of the Milan Stock Exchange to the government crisis was drastic: the Ftse Mib lost 3.44 percent to 20,580 points, Milan became the black jersey in Europe. And the spread also rose, closing higher at 223 basis points.

Between now and Wednesday there are five days in which political forces loyal to Draghi, and especially the Pd, will try to convince Conte to step back. Otherwise, a Draghi-bis could be worked out. With a majority orphaned by 5Stelle. And the numbers would be there. In the Senate, after this years’ spills and the split by Luigi Di Maio, the Movement has 62 senators left out of 315 total. The governing majority, subtracting M5s members, could count on 204 votes in Palazzo Madama. A number well above the absolute majority, set at 158. In the Chamber, where the breakup of Insieme per il Futuro (which has as many as 53 deputies) has weighed even more heavily, the Five Star Movement is the second largest group, with 104 MPs out of 630. The governing majority, minus these, has 456 in its support. Once again, this is a number well above the majority threshold, which stands at 316.

Alternatively, consultations will begin. One option is for Mattarella to give an exploratory mandate to the Presidents of the Chamber and Senate to explore the possibility of forming a new government. In case of a negative outcome, the Head of State would dissolve the Chambers and instead go to an early vote, with polls in September or, at most, October.

The parties warm up their engines and begin to challenge each other with statements, showing swagger at the possibility of an early vote. Although, in reality, the recent local government burn for many of them still stings. After all, a little extra time to prepare for the election campaign would benefit almost everyone, except Fratelli d’Italia.

The problem is that time, at this particular historical juncture, cannot be wasted. Whatever the institutional formula, it must be done quickly, losing concrete and structural answers to the most critical issues: the war, the energy crisis, the interlocution with trade unions on the issue of labor, galloping inflation, the commitments of the NRRP. All in a context marked by the insidious upsurge of the pandemic.


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