After 90 days of up and down, the yellow-green government has been officially formed. Thursday at 9 p.m., the professor Giuseppe Conte received the mandate for the second time. The list of ministers, drawn up by Salvini and Di Maio a few days ago and then eventually slightly corrected, was already on his desk. An hour and a half earlier, the economist Carlo Cottarelli, greeted by an unusual applause from journalists, informed that he had resigned, adding that the path of a political government is “by far the best.”
To unblock the dramatic impasse were the consent of the Lega and Paolo Savona’s personal willingness to go from the Economy and Finances Ministry to the minister for EU communitarian policies. It is a minister of much less importance, and until the last second, the professor’s response seemed uncertain. Instead, he accepted. Since he is part of the Council of Ministers and at the head of a minister dealing with Europe, he will be able to influence the economic policy anyway.
The Minister of Economy is Giovanni Tria, from the center-right Forza Italia party. He has always been critical of the euro and of Germany’s role in the EU. However, he never expressed the necessity of leaving the single currency. Indifferent to the idea of citizenship income, he is more positive about the Flat Tax reform, to be gradually introduced and financed with the increase of VAT if necessary. The relationship between him and the cumbersome Savona is one of the unknowns of the government.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs goes to the pro-European Enzo Moavero Milanesi, a favorite of Mattarella. The two coalition party leaders will preside over important ministries such as internal affairs for Salvini and the labor, social policies and economic development for Di Maio. They will also be deputy prime ministers. Giancarlo Giorgetti (Lega) will be the government general undersecretary and he should also take over the delegation to the secret services.
Lega also received a significant promotion: Giulia Bongiorno will lead the Ministry of Public Administration, while the 5 Star Fraccaro will preside over parliamentary relations. The head of the deputies Danilo Toninelli (5 Star) conquered the fundamental minister of infrastructures and Giulia Grillo will have health care. Marco Bussetti (Lega) is responsible for education.
The last hurdle was the Minister of Defence. Lega proposed the right-populist leader Gorgia Meloni from Fratelli d’Italia party. But, when Salvini talked about it with the 5 Star leader everything jumped because of the veto from Di Maio, according to the official version. Moreover, the M5S members of parliament, who had already made severe criticisms of the leader on Wednesday night, stopped Meloni: “We have always been very critical of her,” summarized a supporter of the movement. In addition, social media overflowed with grassroots protests and parliamentarians demanding reversal. Di Maio could do no more than take note. “I never thought of joining the government,” Meloni then assured. In any case, they will abstain in the vote of confidence. A kind of external support that further shifts the government to right-wing positions.
Overall, the negotiations were carried out under rigid surveillance by President Mattarella. If the agreement had not been reached by the evening, Mattarella would have broken the deadlock by proceeding towards elections in July. The threat, for the second time during the crisis, has worked. Salvini accepted the compromise; indeed, he could not afford a vote in the summer with the resulting earthquakes on the stock exchange and the increasing VAT around the corner. However, betting on the stability of this complex government is a matter of pure fideism.