The seven-year term of the President of the Italian Republic expires on February 3
Sergio Mattarella continues with his goodbyes. A month after traveling to Madrid to say goodbye to Felipe VI and after four days of doing the same in the Vatican with Pope Francis, the president of the Italian Republic, whose seven-year term expires on February 3, maintained this Monday a meeting with the Italian ambassadors, who warmly thanked him for his work as head of state, dedicating a standing ovation to him. “This is the last time I can address your community,” said Mattarella, who was also praised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi di Maio, for his “extraordinary contribution to our foreign policy action and for his invaluable support.” The words of Di Maio, former leader of the 5 Star Movement, represent a 180 degree turn from the position that this ‘anti-caste’ party had in 2018, when it even threatened an ‘impeachment’ (political trial) to Mattarella, although the Italian legislation does not even contemplate that possibility.
The head of state, who has more than proved his worth by solving the three serious political crises that have occurred during this term, will say goodbye to his compatriots in the end-of-year speech that he will deliver on December 31st. It is a televised intervention that usually reaches mass audiences, but this year will be even more significant. Although he has already made it clear on numerous occasions that he does not intend to remain in office, as his predecessor, Giorgio Napolitano did for two years, due to the political instability that Italy was experiencing in 2013, there is great expectation for what Mattarella will say in the New Years Eve.
His speech is as interesting as the end-of-year conference that Prime Minister Mario Draghi will give this Wednesday, which some would like to see as Mattarella’s successor, although there are now more voices, both from within and from outside the country, praising his work in the Government and they want him not to leave this position due to the political crisis that his departure would cause. After the praises of the ‘Financial Times’, in recent days have come those of the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and those of the weekly ‘The Economist’, which has even declared Italy ‘country of the year’ for the good work of Draghi.
The parties, which will have to elect the new head of state in a vote that could be held in Parliament between January 18 and 28, do not agree at the moment on who will be Mattarella’s successor. Given the refusal of the left to be Silvio Berlusconi, the conservative bloc could present other candidates of a more transversal nature, among which the names of several women stand out, such as the president of the Senate, Maria Elisabetta Casellati, the regional vice president of Lombardy, Letizia Moratti, or the Minister of Justice, Marta Cartabia.