Search for an alliance – difficult government talks in Rome

Search for an alliance - difficult government talks in Rome

© Keystone/AP/Alessandra Tarantino

The search for a new government in Italy continues to be tough. After the consultation rounds in the official residence of President Sergio Mattarella, some parties had increased their willingness to form alliances again and thus occasionally caused internal turmoil.

The five-star movement (M5S), which co-ruled until Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte resigned, had said “yes” to a pact between the old political forces – including Italia Viva, which had brought down Conte’s government.

However, M5S politician Alessandro Di Battista and, according to media reports, ten others clashed with the willingness to talk to the small party of the former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and threatened to get out.

That could complicate the work for the mediator and President of the Chamber of Deputies, Roberto Fico, who was appointed by Mattarella. The head of state set the course for a third cabinet under Giuseppe Conte on Friday. It turned out in the talks that there could be a majority of the parties that had supported the previous government, the 79-year-old said. Fico should now explore that.

The problem: In order for the government to be stable, as demanded by Mattarella, there must be a stable absolute majority in both chambers of parliament and, above all, in the Senate. The Italia Viva tipped the scales in the smaller chamber until it left the Conte cabinet in mid-January. Without them a majority from the parties of the center-left spectrum is unlikely to come about.

On Saturday Fico wanted to speak to the M5S, the Social Democrats, the Italia Viva and the politicians of the small left party Liberi e Uguali. He should present the results to Mattarella by Tuesday.


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