1. Scenario and risks
The Draghi government has launched an operation to pacify Italian politics. After years of conflict between nationalist and populist parties on the one hand and centrist parties on the other, Mario Draghi's premiership has set itself the challenge of reuniting interests with a majority ranging from the League (Lega) to the 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle) through the pro-European forces of the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico) and Go Italy (Forza Italia). Draghi will perform a function similar to that of the Podestà in the medieval municipalities of the thirteenth century: an agent external to a system in crisis who seeks to reconcile the factions and replace a political class that is unable to implement reforms.
In terms of scenario, there are two significant issues at political level. The first is the inclusion of the League, a Eurosceptic and right-wing force, in the majority and in the government. On the one hand, this involvement in a national unity government determines a "normalisation" of Salvini's party, which is pursuing legitimacy at European level by supporting the former ECB President, and strengthens its credibility as a governing force for the future. However, the inclusion of the League in the government formula is also important in terms of representation: self-employed workers, small businesses, the North, which form the basis of Salvini's electorate, have a greater say in the Draghi government than in Conte 2.
The other politically important fact is the fracture of the 5 Star Movement during the vote of confidence in the Draghi government. The most radical wing of the party refused to join the new technocratic-led executive, which represents the exact opposite of the original populist mission of the Movement. The outsiders in Parliament will give rise to a new political force, almost certainly led by Alessandro Di Battista, which will look to the radical left.
The Italian political system shows a convergence at the centre. On the margins, outside of the majority, will remain Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) on the right and the new group born from the dissidents of the 5 Star Movement and LeU on the left. In this context, the presence of the League assumes a greater strategic value as its political weight is strengthened. Indeed, with the 5 Star Movement mutilated, the League parliamentarians have increased their influence over the majority and over the executive. An uncomfortable situation for the Democratic Party, until yesterday the pivot of the system, now forced to share the crown with their most bitter opponents from the right. An increase in internal conflict within the Democratic Party cannot be excluded, due to the weakness of the leadership and to the fact of having suffered rather than managed the crisis of Conte 2.
In terms of program, many problems remain to be solved by Draghi. The Prime Minister outlined a very ambitious and vast government program, attempting to satisfy the interests of the many and varied parties that support him. Realistically, Draghi still has three main goals: the allocation of the Recovery Fund; the setting up of related structural reforms; a plan of mass vaccinations and a gradual reopening to leave the pandemic behind. For the new Prime Minister, also considering the point of the legislature we are in, it will be easier to act on fiscal and budgetary levers than to map out reforms, such as those of the public administration or justice, which require a reorganisation drive that will have to be rolled out over many years.
The configuration of the Government also shows a sub-cabinet within the Council of Ministers made up of Draghi and the technical ministers (Economy and Finance, Ecological Transition, Infrastructure and Transport as well as the Undersecretary to the Prime Minister’s Office). This will be the heart and engine of the new executive, particularly at economic and planning level. The massive presence of political parties, with such a large majority, does not spare Draghi from potential management problems, especially in relation to measures to contain the pandemic.