Matteo Salvini never wants to join the new government with Lega – and bends over to the point of self-denial. But is that enough?
Italian politicians are famous for their acrobatics, there have been many wonderful performances in the history of the republic. High wires behave over the lowlands for opportunism, curves oddly fair. Of all the metaphors and symbols Matteo Salvini put in his mind during the formation of the new Italian government for his astonishing change, the religious conversion, the Damascus experience was the most frequent and perhaps also the most appropriate – from Saul to Paul on a single Roman winter night.
From Europe’s opponents to Europe’s friends. From the far right corner of sovereign populism straight to an essentially left and liberal alliance of actual “Europeisti”. La Repubblica asks: “When the devil wears his angelic robe, does he become loved or remain a demon? And: “In our political theology there is always a little bit of comedy.”
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Salvini is determined to be present when Mario Draghi, Italy’s designated Prime Minister, forms his government in the coming days. He would like to become a minister again, but this possibility seems rather small. Overall, the question arises of how his Lega fits into a grand alliance structure with incompatible souls without being dismantled. On the other hand: Can Draghi leave Liga, which, according to surveys, is still barely the strongest party in Italy, even though it wants to enter and bow to self-denial?
In any case, Salvini gives everything. Draghi also had an unexpected opportunity: Since his autumn he made it himself in the summer of 2019At the height of its popularity, Lega lost about a third of its popularity. Much of it went beyond the fascists led by Giorgia Meloni, a rival in the right-wing camp, who is now the only force in Parliament to enter the opposition with the goal of overtaking Salvini. Salvini’s personal preference has literally exploded, which was also due to the fact that he never found the right tone in the plague. In the economically strong north, where Lega is headquartered, entrepreneurs are pushing him to adopt sensible policies during the crisis – and thus in Draghi’s arms.
After his second interview, Salvini seemed as if his worldview completely coincided with that of “Professor Draghi,” as he calls him. For example, he said, “We have to orient ourselves towards the democracies and freedoms of the West, and we should not be a fan of non-democratic regimes.” Perhaps he was referring to himself, and it wasn’t long before Vladimir Putin described him as “one of the best politicians of our time” and sought to get close to him whenever possible. Salvini is now Atlantic.
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With regard to immigration policy, he would like Italy to have a “European path”, following the example of France, Spain and Germany. Like this to him Closed ports policy Fits, does not want to explain.
He advised the European Parliament’s 29 lawmakers to vote in favor of the regulations for the EU’s recovery plan – and thus against the far-right faction line of “Identity and Democracy”, which he had once promoted with the Alternative for Germany and the Freedom and Democracy Party, the Maritime Rally of National Le Pence. A permanent break? One hears that Lega wishes to transform into the European People’s Party, and that immediately, in order to finally be respected by an institution that, without his consent, would likely not be considered a right worthy of the government: Brussels, the business world, the Vatican. At least that is the opinion of Giancarlo Giorgetti, the second man in Liga, a friend of Draghi and a great broadcaster of the party leader.
“It is a shame that the Italian is a partner in the carnage of our economy, our jobs, our youth and our hope. Shame.”
Salvini often says now: “I am pragmatic, I don’t like labels.” Of all things. Salvini has always been a man of walking etiquette, not a shirtless printed look. “Pasta Euro”, “Stop the invasion”, “No to sanctions against Russia” – the labels were his program.
Draghi himself also has to get used to the mild version of Salvini. When the then president of the European Central Bank said in 2017 that the euro would unite Europeans “irreversibly”, Salvini replied: “It is a shame that the Italian was complicit in the massacre of our economy, our jobs, our youth and our hope. Shame.” But that was yesterday.
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