The longest day for League and M5S

Coalition allies seem to have left behind the longest day since they took power on June 1st, 2018. Over the last week, tension in the M5S-League parliamentary majority had reached worrying alter levels, thanks to the succession of frictions that became increasingly harsh and that did not anticipate anything good for the future of Premier Conte’s Cabinet. The full twist of the relationship between League and M5S began with the explosion of the so-called Russia case and the investigation into alleged illegal financing by the Kremlin to Salvini’s party through the intermediation of national energy giant ENI.

The first crisis in the relation between coalition allies originated from the lack of defense of League leader from the 5Stars and the head of Government, who on the contrary endorsed the opposition Democratic Party’s request for an immediate information to Parliament by Salvini himself. Salvini’s countermove passed through the discussion table with unions and trade associations that was convocated on Monday at the Interior Ministry ahead of this year’s budget law. If the meeting had the merit of removing at least in part the media and political attention from the alleged Russian funds scandal, at the same time it opened a new front of confrontation in the majority and in particular between Salvini and the tenant of Palazzo Chigi.

For the prime minister Conte, the initiative has in fact constituted an undue encroachment, notwithstanding the League reassurances about its nature of party meeting aimed at illustrating the economic proposal ahead of the budget law, or the formal recognition of the premier’s primacy. The temperature has risen further already on Tuesday evening, with the election of Mrs Ursula von der Leyen to the presidency of the European Commission, thanks to the decisive support of the M5S in Strasbourg. In this way, by turning to the last on the former Berlin defense minister, the 5Stars revealed the full extend of the rift in the Italian government, relegating the League to the opposition and ruining Salvini’s project aimed at selecting the European commissioner of Italy due to the large electoral success achieved at the end of May.

In this regard, Palazzo Chigi had tried to negotiate the appointment of the vice president and competition commissioner. The domestic political storm that followed has brought the Italian government literally one step away from the crisis on Thursday, amid cross-accusations and violent attacks that weren’t reached not even during the most complicated moments of the campaign for the European elections. All the more so after it was leaked that an underground dialogue is ongoing between M5S and PD aimed at determining the existence of a new majority in Parliament in the event of government collapse. The climate of deep uncertainty that has spread as soon as the scenario of snap election has been raised brought the two litigants back to somewhat milder positions.

None among League and M5S want to take responsibility for bringing down the government. For Di Maio the danger is to step aside in order to let Giuseppe Conte run the eventual M5S election campaign in autumn, while Salvini has no idea about the moves of the head of State: snap elections or Conte-bis?