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“Italy is waiting for five years of political stability,” League Nord leader Matteo Salvini said after the right’s election victory a few weeks ago. But the government is not yet formed and his coalition partners are already fighting each other. The accusations between Forza Italia’s Silvio Berlusconi and Noe Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni fly back and forth.
Today the formation process officially begins: the president meets the heads of both houses, after which Meloni is asked to form the government. But it doesn’t make it easy.
A letter full of accusations
The feud between Berlusconi and Meloni began last week, when the Senate paparazzi focused on a note in which Berlusconi stated what he thought of Meloni. “She is arrogant, bossy, arrogant and abusive.” The word “ridiculous” was originally there, but was crossed out.
His dismay was the list of ministers Meloni was working on behind the scenes. She turned down a cabinet position for Licia Ronzulli, a Forza Italia politician who for years helped organize Berlusconi. bunga bungaParties. Meloni replied bluntly: “Berlusconi forgot one thing in his note.” “I’m not blackmailing.”
The tension between the two is staggering, as Meloni took over as her prime minister years ago when Berlusconi was prime minister. Now that Meloni’s party is the largest in the election, the balance of power is exactly the opposite. However, they need each other to form the majority.
As in Italian politics, the riots were settled as quickly as they arose. Meloni even asked Berlusconi to “give him advice,” the 86-year-old senator boasted after the conversation in which the two made peace. They smiled again for the cameras.
Berlusconi posted a picture of this on Twitter.
But that peace did not last long. In recent days, audio clips have been leaked of Berlusconi praising Russian leader Putin and condoning the invasion of Ukraine.
Sweet message from Putin
In the first part, in which Berlusconi spoke to members of his group in the Senate, he said that he had strengthened relations with the Russian president. “For my birthday, he sent me twenty bottles of vodka, and a very sweet letter. I answered him with bottles of Lambrusco and a nice letter.”
In the second part, recorded yesterday by his party colleague, Berlusconi explains why Russia invaded Ukraine, he said. It is said that Putin only came to the aid of the “two independent republics” in Donbass after they were attacked by Zelensky’s government.
“He decided to launch a special operation (…) to overthrow the current government and form a government (…) of good and sane people,” Berlusconi said. “A week later, he wanted to withdraw. But he met unexpected resistance from the Ukrainians, who had received money and weapons from the West since the third day.”
Moreover, Berlusconi says he does not understand why Putin and Zelensky are not negotiating with each other. “I think Zelensky (…) is late, I can’t say.”
Contrary to the relatively harmless bickering over Berlusconi’s remark, his comments on Ukraine put Meloni in a lot of trouble. The radical right-wing politician has always stressed that with her leadership, Italy will lead a pro-NATO path and that support for Ukraine is unquestioned. International allies may wonder how true this is if one of its coalition partners clearly thinks otherwise.
So last night I put an end to Berlusconi’s behavior in a press release. “I intend to lead a government with a clear and unambiguous foreign policy. Italy, head held high, is a full member of Europe and NATO. Anyone who disagrees cannot be part of the government. Even if it is at the expense of forming a government.”
Right in this month
It is unlikely that the formation of the right-wing government will really be in danger. After the first round of consultations today, Mattarella has called Meloni, Berlusconi and Salvini together tomorrow. Berlusconi is expected to back down and take them out anyway, although the foreign ministry post may not be entrusted to his party.
If all goes according to plan, the new government could be sworn in this month. But the illusion that Italy has “five years of political stability ahead” with that government, as Matteo Salvini predicted, has already been shattered.
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