The next challenges for Meloni

Giorgia Meloni faces two noteworthy challenges that will be played out on different fields. The first, concerning her personal approval, is safer and imminent: the European elections to be held on June 8-9, with Meloni running as the lead candidate in all constituencies. This vote inevitably shapes up as a “referendum” on the work done so far and the government’s future moves. The second, more complicated and less predictable challenge, is currently being discussed in the Senate: the Constitutional reform of the Premierate, one of the key political issues for our Prime Minister since the electoral campaign. The opposition has relentlessly attacked the text, supported by criticisms from Senator Liliana Segre, who finds “alarming aspects” in the bill. According to the center-right’s plans, the reform follows a precise timeline: the general discussion in the Senate should conclude next Tuesday, after which Minister for Reforms Elisabetta Casellati’s reply will be followed by a vote on the amendments. However, the opposition, united on this issue, will avoid at all costs allowing the Prime Minister to boast about Senate approval before the European elections, marking the first of the four steps required to amend the Constitution.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Senate completed the first stage of the parliamentary examination of what should be the final decree on the Superbonus. This examination was far from “easy” for the majority and instead highlighted a further rift between FdI and Lega on one side and Forza Italia on the other, with the latter battling in the Finance Committee against the retroactivity of the mandatory 10-year credit spread introduced by the government and against the extension of the sugar tax. The government then called for a confidence vote on the decree’s text, which the opposition labeled as “political” but did not impact the majority: it passed without surprises with 101 votes in favor. The text now moves to the Chamber of Deputies, which must approve it definitively by May 28.

While the majority and the opposition continue to debate and confront each other in the Senate, the same will not happen on television, at least not soon. In a statement released this week, Rai confirmed that it would no longer host the televised debate ahead of the European elections between the leaders of the two most popular parties in Italy, the Democratic Party’s secretary Elly Schlein and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The debate, highly anticipated, was supposed to take place on May 23 on “Porta a Porta,” the program hosted by Bruno Vespa. However, a discussion arose regarding the appropriateness – and compliance with the “Par Condicio” law – of a one-on-one debate without representatives from other parties, who had loudly complained about being excluded. Currently, an alternative format has been proposed by La7’s news director Enrico Mentana, suggesting two separate debates: one among minor lists on June 5, and another among major ones on June 6.

Meanwhile, the eyes and front pages of newspapers worldwide turned to Slovakia on Wednesday when Prime Minister Robert Fico was the victim of an assassination attempt. Hit by three gunshots, the hospital staff where he is being treated said he is in serious but stable condition. Little is known about the motivations behind the attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico: the man who assaulted him was arrested on the spot shortly after the attack and was formally charged on Thursday, but details about his identity have not been released. The incident has caused shock and dismay on the international scene, as this was the first attempted assassination of such an important politician in Slovakia’s recent history, a country independent since 1993.