Commentary. People like Renzi and Salvini can’t stand mediation, immersed in the arrogance of one-man-rule to the point of invoking presidentialism as a solution.

The last gasp of a has-been

There he goes again with his plan to turn the Prime Minister into “the mayor of Italy,” with the mantra of “reopening the construction sites”—as if we hadn’t been inoculated against this already by his own SbloccaItalia campaign—with threats of no-confidence votes against ministers and demands to get rid of the citizenship income. The former “man in charge,” the former secretary hailed by the PD back when he was winning all the elections, showed himself Wednesday to be the same person who is going off to Pakistan on skiing trips with royals while leading a group of senators and MPs in Parliament under the banner that belonged to the remnants of the socialist party of the honorable Mr. Nencini. And it’s the same Renzi who is waging battles on the statute of limitations and voting with the center-right, of course in the name of “the rule of law.”

It may seem strange that an excellent maneuverer like Renzi would not be content with the opportunities to act as mediator within the majority, and is instead threatening government crises at regular intervals like a Swiss watch. And, while he’s working as the political equivalent of a junkyard scrap metal collector, from his perch in the mountains of Pakistan he’s willing to offer anyone who turns to his benevolence a seat at his table, which the welcoming Bruno Vespa is content to set up for him every evening. From another TV studio, that of Fabio Fazio, he caused the attempt at a PD-M5S alliance to falter after the March 5 elections two years ago, only to resurrect it once he decided he’d take up the role of a loose cannon with a whiplash-inducing split-off from the PD.

One might think it’s perfectly normal that a coalition government born in mid-August out of an unprecedented alliance full of contradictions, ambiguous political choices and intrinsic difficulties would be subject to permanent self-questioning in order to find agreement on migrants as well as on schools, on the hundred negotiations around large companies in crisis or on the minimum wage. But this is not so for people like Renzi, or Salvini, who can’t stand mediation, immersed in the arrogance of one-man-rule to the point of invoking presidentialism as a solution.

When Renzi unseated Letta, with the endorsement of the entire PD, it was the beginning of the end for the party, which came two years later with the constitutional referendum. Now he would like to get his revenge by kicking Conte out, an insufferable rival in the polls. Furthermore, his overweening ego is tormented by the fact that his former party is sitting at the head of the government table while he is given the equivalent of a jump seat (while the lady ministers from his party would rather be absent from government meetings altogether). It is useless to look for any political significance if the only meaning of his sound and fury is dictated by a performance anxiety typical of the defeated leader, reduced to a small-time has-been.

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