Phase 1 report cards

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  1. Giuseppe Conte – President of the Council of Ministers

Conte was the undisputed star of the emergency, a point of reference for millions of Italians at the time of the lockdown with the burden of managing the worst crisis in Republican history. A performance made of lights and shadows, including his communication gaffes on TV and the confused management of the anti-Covid task forces. Over him overs the specter of Churchill, who defeated the Nazis except for being discharged by the British without too much ceremony in 1945.

  1. Matteo Salvini – Lega Nord Federal Secretary

Though it’s true that polls can prove to be tremendously ephemeral, the popularity decline documented in recent months is truly worrying for someone who aspire to play the part of the national leader. Slogans are always the same, but the audience right now is looking for quite another kind of symphonies. The League leader is at a crossroads: broad alliances in Parliament or embracing a future of marginalized opposition?

  1. Nicola Zingaretti – Democratic Party Secretary, President of the Lazio Region

He simply never showed up. First the unhappy episode of the Milan aperitivo, then the misfortune of contagion and the speedy recovery. An absent leadership that well represents the moment of introversion lived by his party. He has also some problems in the Region but for the PD remains a valuable negotiator within the fragile ruling coalition.

  1. Matteo Renzi – Italia Viva President

As always prophetic in anticipating the evolution of the Italian political framework, he was the first to evoke decisively the opening of a phase 2. Hyperactive, after having ousted Salvini from power and laid the foundations of the M5s-PD government, he can now lead the transition towards a national unity cabinet, thanks to the fact of having little or nothing to lose given the little consensus enjoiyed by his party. Several structural frictions with allies remain.

  1. Luigi Di Maio – Foreign Affairs Minister

He’s trying to head the M5S despite having given up on his leadership, but the truth is that at the moment the only lifeline for the Balkanized party is called Giuseppe Conte. In fact, the M5S risks a threefold split and the alternative is to accept a gradual slip into irrelevance. Many are worried about the repeated expressions of closeness to China professed by a minister who should instead protect the interests of Italy in the international arena.

  1. Silvio Berlusconi – Forza Italia President

Experience is said to make a difference in times of difficulty. The former prime minister aims to present himself as a factor of stability in a system at risk of slipping into chaos (someone said ESM bailout fund?). A radically differend attitude from that displayed by his allies, always ready to assault the ruling coalition in order to overturn the parliamentary balance of power. He could return Salvini the favor that the League leader did to him in 2018, running together in the regional elections that should take place in autumn.

  1. Giorgia Meloni – Fratelli d’Italia President

She always wears the usual grim-looking mask even in full COVID-19 emergency, addressing her troops and pressing the government. Still, recipes appear the same as always. She might content to excite the hearts of an electorate who seems satisfied and may at most aim at stealing consensus from the troubled League ally. It will be traditionally tough and pure opposition until the next general election. And maybe even later.

  1. Presidents of Region

Here the judgment is complex and articulated, for better of for worse each of them has its reasons and those who seem good today in reality may have been only very lucky. And viceversa. For sure there is that once the emergency is over, it will be necessary to deal with the division of powers between the central state and local authorities. An almost impossible mission for a ruling class divided over everything. The alternative is to witness further growth of the faults that threaten to split Italy.

  1. Virologists

A category of experts whose contribution is unavoidable in the fight against infection, who are living an excessive phase of mediatic overexposure. Talk-shows and news cannot live wothout them and they do not shirk their requests. Some say for professional duty, others for business prospects or to kick-off a political career at the end of the emergency. If science is not able to provide irrefutable certainties, in the long run media-overexpsure risks creating only rejection from a humoral and unfriendly audience like the Italian one.

  1. Task forces

Task forces have been the big news of the Covid-19 crisis, in good and evil. Presented to Italians with great fanfare and crucial perspectives, they disappeared just as quickly in the most complete irrelevance. Controversy was fierce over the lack of transparency linked to their appointment criteria or the discussions they carried out, while the information about their enlightened advice to the government is really scarce. We will end the emergency by asking ourselves: “Why?”.