Analysis. Matteo Renzi says he won’t resign after a disappointing election day for his governing party.

The mayor of Italy refuses to resign

There is at least one word which, at least until October, Matteo Renzi would rather delete from the dictionary: “Resignation.” The prime minister is playing at home, like Lilli Gruber, and makes it clear how to interpret the upcoming elections: “If the Democratic Party [PD] should lose at the polls in Rome and Milan, I will not resign. I have always said that the mayor is elected in the administrative [elections].”

Then there is Turin, where despite the initial advantage, bookmakers continue to give Appendino the odds, and the general staff of the Nazarene agrees: “All ballots are one in two. But I believe that Fassino’s experience and expertise can be a strong point.”

And anyway: “I do not share the opinion that the M5S has won this election.”

As for the end-of-world referendum, to be held in October, the secretary of the Democratic Party is emphatic: “These elections do not change anything.” In fact, if you listen to him, it seems that the only thing that would change with the vote in the most important cities in Italy is Rome’s candidacy to the 2024 Olympics: “If Raggi wins, I think they’ll withdraw.”

This obsessive insistence of the Prime Minister on an issue which the Roman voters seem actually very disconnected, since they have to do almost daily Olympic events for the winter. But the mystery is easily solved: the pressures of Malagò, and behind him the whole power of the cement industry in Rome are raging. And they will rage more if Virginia Raggi really confirms the choice of Paolo Berdini as councilor for urban planning: It is almost impossible to find a name the Capitoline building speculators like less.

This Matteo Renzi interview says much between the lines, perhaps for the first time the leader of the Democratic Party appears evidently in difficulty. Because in politics, mentioning something, even if only to retract it or to deny it, it is recognizing that it is on the field, admitting its possibility.

Renzi knows well that if he loses in the major cities, his resignation not only as prime minister but as the Secretary of the Democratic Party, would in fact become an entirely realistic eventuality. Veltroni resigned for much less.

That’s why he puts his hands up and restarts a fierce controversy with the minority (“after the vote I will use the flamethrower”) and directly with Bersani: “I am impressed by his metaphors: I confess I do not understand them. I think that the Democratic Party is the first party without a shadow of discussion. About those who for many years and with known consistency say that all is bad in the Democratic Party, but it does not.”

Another significant announcement was thrown there as if by accident. Almost certainly he will not take part in initiatives for the elections. It is not a detail. That the secretary of a party present in all ballots deserts the election campaign is everything but obvious.

The inaction has a double meaning: On the one hand, Renzi realized that his presence actually does much more harm than good to the candidates. On the other hand, it will be easy for him to pretend in case of a deadly blow that it does not concern him.

Then there is the Verdini case.

Naples has revealed to the most blind that an association with our Florentine friend damages the Democratic Party. Renzi reacts as usual: denying the obvious. “The topic has been discussed in talk shows for a year, but there is no alliance with Verdini either at the national or local level. There were several alliances in some counties.”

In short, little troubles like Naples that is about to go bankrupt and therefore is not worth talking about it. Actually, the verdiniani are preparing to vote for a new reliance on banks, but the prime minister has already explained that these are just classroom alliances. As if they were just trinkets.

The verdiniani have taken this answer badly, although Denis personally, at Wednesday’s group meeting, tried to reassure them: “Everything remains the same. Stop making so many statements, please.” Words that do not reassure the mercenary troops, so much so that the poet Bondi and Repetto his life partner got set to leave the winged group to go back to the Mixed one. Lost souls.

The thorn is not the present, where in fact there are only “classroom covenants,” but the future. Because the verdiniani expected some benefits after the referendum so they are even more in turmoil thinking about the next election.

But Renzi has to close the doors. The price would be too high. “I am a supporter of Italicum, which provides for the award to the list, and this will not change. With that law, the Democratic Party and the FI would go on the ballot.” Quite a risky forecast, but also in this case we should perhaps read between the lines: The prime minister made it known to the friends of ALA, but also to half NCD, that after they provide support to his government, they have to go home, to strengthen the blue party.

Gratitude, you know, has never been his strong suit.

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