Thursday (July 14th): Draghi struggles in Italy

Mario Draghi

Name? Mario Draghi

Westphalian identity? Italian

Age? 74

Why is he in the news? Today, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi survived a vote of confidence over a budget bill but his coalition is still in doubt as one of the coalition parties, the 5-Stars movement, boycotted the vote. Draghi currently serves as a technocratic interim PM carried by a large non-partisan coalition until next year’s elections. 

Why do we care? Earlier this week, Draghi said that his government could not continue without the support of 5-Star and ruled out leading a coalition with a different make-up. How much of that was pressure on the 5-Stars and how much of that was a serious threat will be determined later today after Draghi has talked to Italian President Matarella. Draghi will either have to form a new government or call for elections.

Why should you care? The amount of personal self-interest ruling Italian politics should sicken you 10/10. First, after this election the Italian parliament will shrink, many parliamentarians will lose their mandate, so many are avoiding new elections. Second, the 5-Stars imploded a few weeks ago and lost half of its seats to another party. Since then the 5-Stars, having lost significant support in recent years, have complained that their interests have been ignored and as a result refused to back Draghi’s latest budget bill. Third, Matteo Salvini of the nationalist League party said he would pull his support from the coalition government and push for early elections seeking more power if 5-Stars left.

Who else cares? Russian President Vladimir Putin. Another reason the 5-Stars are angry with Draghi is because of his opposition to their pro-Putin stance.

Any further comments? The 5-Stars opposed a provision of Draghi’s bill to allow Rome to operate a garbage incinerator on the outskirts of the chronically trash-choked Italian capital … seriously? Another government crisis in Italy over a badly needed (trust us, we have been to Rome) garbage incinerator?

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordinator