Commentary. If only he had a healthy relationship with reality, not only Italian, but European and world-wide, the senator from Rignano would know that risking a government crisis at this time is a surreal scenario.

Amid a pandemic crisis, Renzi throws the government in crisis too

We have arrived at madness: a government crisis of unknown outcome and Italy traded in for a political gamble. Unfortunately, we know very well what Matteo Renzi is capable of, having seen him at work, first at the head of the PD and then at the Chigi Palace, when the current head of Italia Viva, being in full command, implemented his political project, putting into practice bad recipes both on the social level (the Jobs Act, to mention just one among many) and the constitutional level (above all, the referendum).

It is a government crisis in a dramatic scenario, indeed a tragic one, for a thousand reasons that are not even worth repeating—and it has been the soundtrack to our lives for a month now. If only he had a healthy relationship with reality, not only Italian, but European and world-wide, the senator from Rignano would know that risking a government crisis at this time is a surreal scenario.

And yet, even though we have been abundantly “vaccinated” against the small-mindedness of a former leader, even though we know that his threats of a vote of no confidence in Conte, a rival in the polls he can’t stand, reveal a performance anxiety typical of the defeated leader, we also know that this willful madness risks doing a lot of harm to the country. In the same way in which the idea of a government of national union with Renzi and Salvini alongside Draghi can do a lot of harm, a hypothesis that is always present in the background, and on the wish list of the forces and interests that are pushing to make this alliance fall.

There would then be, ready to him to use, the position of a super-commissioner, a savior of the homeland, a mentor of the patriots of the well-known nationalist club sponsored by the right—and now also by the small leader who calls himself “a patriot who asks for political guidance for the country.” That Conte is Renzi’s real problem, not the policies of the majority, is evident to everyone, as the Financial Times writes: “Mr Conte has presented an obstacle to Mr Renzi’s own renewed political ambitions through a new small spin-off party from the PD called Italia Viva.”

This is the point. Everything else is a shell game, a sham, a farce. In these weeks of political theater, those who wanted to believe and play along were none others than the main victims of the scavenger, his former party, from which he decided to split immediately after giving the green light to the new majority with LeU and the M5S. In the talk shows of the time, Minister Bellanova, when asked if we should expect a split, replied, “This is not the time to talk about it.” Who knows, perhaps it also seemed to her to be in bad taste.

The nature of Renzi’s demented game, now that the offers of reshuffles large and small seem to have been rejected, is also evidenced by the obvious contradiction of a possible green light to the Recovery Plan in the Council of Ministers and in Parliament, coming together seamlessly with the resignation of the two ministers from the government. Nor does it matter that Conte received the plaudits of President vor der Leyen on the good work done by Italy on the Next Generation EU, precisely because it is not a question of merit, but a brutal question of power. As was evident immediately after the agreement reached with Europe, which allocated to Italy—the most indebted country—the largest slice of the pie for the historic challenge of reconstruction

Of course, it would be normal, desirable and necessary to criticize—and self-criticize—the actions of the government (for example, on the social and environmental level), but it is just as important to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater, also because at the core of the pact with which this majority was born was the defense of a center-left perimeter and not an enlargement to the right.

But it is well known that pacts, or at least certain pacts, do not hold up well. Especially if they are signed by someone who usually tells you “don’t worry” before stabbing you in the back.

These are crucial hours for the government, and above all for the country, which, in the midst of a pandemic crisis, can’t understand the reasons for a political crisis as well. Moreover, the patience of normal people, those who are living through daily difficulties in work and health, is running out; and the last thing we need is a sorcerer’s apprentice.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Your weekly briefing of progressive news.

You have Successfully Subscribed!