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Italian government collapse

by IdiotSavant Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 12:56:46 AM EST

A minor party has withdrawn from the Italian government, leaving it without a majority in the Senate and on the verge of collapse:

Italy has been plunged into chaos after former prime minister Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party from the country's ruling coalition in a largely unpopular move that could end in fresh elections.

The political meltdown, which leaves the prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, without a parliamentary majority, comes at the worst possible time for Italy as it struggles to contain the coronavirus pandemic and emerge from economic quagmire.

Renzi announced the resignation of his two ministers, Teresa Bellanova and Elena Bonetti, following weeks of clashes over a variety of issues including Italy's post-Covid economic recovery plan.

Conte could now either offer his resignation to the president, Sergio Mattarella, who could give him a mandate to try and forge a new alliance, or go to parliament for a vote of confidence.

The government would lose elections at the moment, and in any case holding them at the height of the pandemic seems... unwise. While Italy's case numbers have passed their second peak, daily case numbers are still three times higher than during the first wave, and deaths are only a little lower than the earlier peak. Traditional campaigning and in-person voting seem downright dangerous, and even is postal and advance voting is used, assembling poll workers to count the votes is asking them to risk infection and death. In these circumstances, you'd hope that Italy's opposition would provide confidence temporarily until things settle down and an election can be held safely, rather than win an election on a pile of corpses.


'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 01:24:01 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 01:25:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cause of the scandal was laid in the austerity program of Rutte I of many years ago ... the Cabinet was going all out to find abuse in welfare benefits of the poor.

Combating tax and benefit fraud

Renske Leijten: `Warning signs deliberately ignored in tax office scandal'

Dutch committee issues scathing report into benefit system | The Independent - Dec. 17, 2020 |

Background reading ...

The Welfare State Should Be a State of Fairness and Trust

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 03:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch government collapses over benefits scandal - media

Thousands of parents were wrongly accused by Dutch authorities of fraudulently claiming child allowance, with many of them forced to pay back large amounts of money and ending up in financial ruin.

The fact that some parents were targeted for investigation by tax officials because they had dual nationality also underscored long-standing criticisms of systemic racism in the Netherlands.

Mr Rutte - one of Europe's longest-serving leaders, having been in power since 2010 - said the cabinet would stay on in a caretaker role to oversee the response to Covid-19 until elections in mid-March.

Did I mention I don't like the guy ... by chance I met him once in the neighbourhood... managed to kid him around ... he was too perplexed to react 🤣

Basically he is a Tory Conservative and would fit well in the London financial district ... pro business - Shell/Unilever - lower taxes and tough on immigrants... competing with Geert Wilders for the rightwing voters.

The Rutte doctrine: catchphrase that expresses the annoyance of the House

Rutte wants to act as a British PM or French President ... wielding power.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:43:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading the comment stream one might never know that the diary was about ITALY. There is a term for that -hijacking.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 04:25:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd considered talking about the spate of sudden collapses in general, but the Dutch one wasn't settled at the time of posting.
by IdiotSavant on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This even gets covered in third-world nations like Kenya.
Oppressive government resigns in Holland, a first world haven for drug trafficking and prostitution rings strategically located in the nether regions of sub-Scandinavian Europe, just two months to scheduled national elections after impoverishing thousands of families.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 01:53:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

With 27 EU countries, there is always some political drama happening some place or other.

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 02:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"A minor party has withdrawn from the Italian government, leaving it without a minority in the Senate and on the verge of collapse:"

I think you mean majority.

It seems a strange time for Renzi to try and force an election - in the middle of the pandemic, with his own party on 3% support, and with the far right likely to win. The cabinet has already conceded most of his demands.

It seems an act of egotism by a former Prime Minister trying to regain some relevance, and justifies the distrust in which he is widely held.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 01:33:04 PM EST
This is reportedly a battle for the control over the  EU Recovery cash negotiated last summer.

Last week, when rioters were storming the Capitol in Washington DC:

Italy's coalition fights for control of EU recovery cash

Italy's outsized share of the EU's economic recovery package is a boon for Giuseppe Conte's government, but in the short term it is stirring tensions and jealousy inside the governing coalition.

Relations in the governing alliance have become increasingly strained, and the conflict looks set to come to a head this week after former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, leader of Italia Viva, threatened to pull the plug on the 16-month-old government.  

Renzi, a junior partner in a left-leaning government with the 5-Star Movement and the Democratic Party, accuses Conte of overreaching his powers with plans that would centralize control over the €209 billion in grants and low-interest loans that Italy will get from the Recovery Fund. Conte scored a major success when he secured 28 percent of the EU's €750 billion stimulus package for Italy in July.

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Jan 15th, 2021 at 02:49:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Matteo Renzi is exhibit A in a case for never allowing corrupt, supposedly liberal politicians to have any significant power.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 04:29:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could be worse: Berlusconi is reportedly recovering from surgery in Monte-Carlo and is, at least temporarily, out of the game. But he'll be back as soon as he can: he smells money.
by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 04:40:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given their choice between a fake grifter and the real thing voters usually choose the real thing. On the up side, perhaps Renzi will be left without a viable party.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 at 03:12:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

It seems like the worst possible time, not to mention downright irresponsible. If you force an election, you're going to get stuck with all the deaths it causes (and it will cause deaths in the current environment, plus low turnout as people don't vote to avoid infection). But politicians frequently suffer from delusions about their own popularity, and seem perfectly willing to ignore the costs their egos impose on others.

by IdiotSavant on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:21:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like the government might survive after all: Bloomberg: Italy's Premier Allies Optimistic on Math for Survival
Officials campaigning on behalf of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte are cautiously optimistic that he may be able to survive a vote in the Senate on Tuesday, despite being abandoned by a junior ally in his coalition.

Conte needs about a dozen more votes in the upper house to restore an outright majority in the 321-strong upper chamber after the defection of a group led by former premier Matteo Renzi. With Renzi's 18 senators expected to abstain, Conte could squeak through with just a handful of extra votes, but his authority would be seriously weakened.

At least 12 senators are already leaning toward joining Conte's camp, according to officials with knowledge of the lobbying effort. The situation remains uncertain and the numbers could change right up until the vote, said the officials, who asked not to be named discussing confidential discussions.

Conte's surrogates are targeting centrists from a group of unaffiliated senators, members of Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia party and even some of Renzi's own group. Several members of Renzi's Italy Alive party have said they regret joining his 2019 breakaway from the Democrats and are worried they may lose their seats if his brinkmanship leads to a snap election, officials said.

by IdiotSavant on Sat Jan 16th, 2021 at 11:17:22 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 18th, 2021 at 08:19:20 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 at 10:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Renzi should rename his party Italia Morta, in honor of his response to the pandemic and politics.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 at 04:57:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Jan 19th, 2021 at 10:39:27 PM EST
Had to go check wikipedia for current polls and election system (this is Italy).

Lega at about 25% trending down
PS stable at about 20%
M5* stable at about 15%
Brothers of Italy / Fratelli d'Italia, FdI at about 15% trending up

Brothers of Italy are real heirs of former neo-facist parties, though they prefer not to call themselves that. So the neo-fascists with the number plate changed is eating the support of the Lega.

Election system is same as last time but with fewer seats. Last time it was 37% FPTP and the rest proportional, I can't find if the decrease in seats is equal among FPTP seats and proportional seats, but it is safe to assume that the larger parties still have an advantage in seats/vote.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jan 20th, 2021 at 12:55:21 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Jan 25th, 2021 at 07:43:16 PM EST
Mario Draghi, l'italiano che ha salvato l'Europa

E lo chiamavano Supermario. Spetta ora a Mario Draghi affrontare una nuova sfida. L'italiano che ha salvato l'Europa dovrà ora essere in grado, con il suo prestigio, di coagulare una solida maggioranza parlamentare. Il suo nome ha attraversato fin dall'inizio il confronto e il dibattito che si è aperto con le dimissioni del premier Conte, tanto da essere considerato da subito l'unico in grado di sciogliere la matassa del confronto che sembra aver imbrigliato la politica, l'ultima carta prima delle elezioni per affrontare le difficoltà sanitarie, sociali, economiche provocate dal Covid.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 2nd, 2021 at 10:13:57 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 6th, 2021 at 08:19:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian: Italian president Sergio Mattarella to seek a 'high-profile' government
Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, has said he would seek a "high profile" government, as speculation grew that it may be led by the former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.

Mattarella made the announcement after ruling coalition partners failed to form a majority following Giuseppe Conte's resignation as prime minister last week.

Mattarella said he was left with two choices: either call snap elections or nominate a technical government (one consisting of appointed technocrats rather than elected representatives) to manage the coronavirus pandemic and the country's economic and social challenges.

He did not say who he would pick to lead the government, but Draghi - nicknamed "Super Mario" for his role in saving the euro - has been summoned to meet Mattarella on Wednesday. The move follows days of speculation in the Italian press about Draghi's possible appointment as a technical prime minister.

So Italy will get another unelected, unaccountable government, because its elected politicians refuse to work together. And then next election they'll be wondering why people are voting for populists to throw them all out.

by IdiotSavant on Wed Feb 3rd, 2021 at 09:50:49 AM EST

Mario Draghi forms a new government

Con Mario Draghi la grande pacificazione

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 13th, 2021 at 02:10:39 PM EST
by generic on Sat Feb 13th, 2021 at 02:25:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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