Confusion dominates the dramatic Italian scene this weekend against the background of a pandemic that has cost 85,162 deaths until Saturday, on a day in which it was announced that 300 doctors have died since the arrival of the coronavirus, almost ago one year. This Saturday the infected were 13,331 and the deaths 488.
The only thing that should not happen, and promptly arrived is an italian political crisis, of those that 66 governments changed in the so-called First Republic that was exhausted with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the great parties: Christian Democrats, Communists and Socialists.
At the center of the stage came a character like the billionaire television czar Silvio Berlusconi, who led three governments and several scandals with an abundant female presence, which still drag some court cases.
There are three days left for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to come up with a winning strategy. He has just been saved in a vote in which he managed to maintain a precarious majority in the Senate that has weakened him.
On Wednesday 27 his government, which is based on an alliance between the center-left Democratic party and the populist 5-Star Movement, must face an even tougher test.
The Senate must deal with a law on judicial activities and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, leader of the small Italia Viva party that caused the first crisis by withdrawing his parliamentary delegation from the government with 18 senators, now threatens to vote against and not abstain as he did a few years ago. days to maintain your ability to negotiate a proxy arrangement.
If this happens, the government will collapse. To save it, the “builders” would have to hurry, who are loose senators who must join the ruling forces. Some did and so Conte was half saved, but the expected stampede of support has not occurred.
The Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, surpassed two votes of confidence, but his government remains on the tightrope. Photo: Victor Sokolowicz
Nerves in government
Government partners are nervous. They ask the prime minister for clarity. They suggest that you settle your lawsuits with Matteo Renzi and his followers. Conte refuses. He prefers to go openly counting the votes in the Senate. If he loses, he hopes to form a new government with new “builders.” Or go headlong to the early elections that the center-right opposition would win.
Alternatives are being considered, such as a government of national unity. Conte has another distinct advantage. They are the senators who would vote for him because if there are elections they will not return to their seats and they will lose the two years that the Legislature has left, which means abundant monthly payments and many privileges.
But another problem has arisen. Firm candidates to jump the pit seemed the senators of Forza Italia, the party of Silvio Berlusconi, a liberal conservative, which is the third leg that supports the center-right alliance, whose main parties are the League of sovereignist Matteo Salvini and the leader of Brothers from Italy, Giorgia Meloni, a formation that is growing in popular support.
Berlusconi, who was hostile to snap elections, is now watching them with great interest. In January 2022, Parliament must elect the new President of the Republic, the most prestigious position that all politicians dream of. Salvini and Meloni promised Berlusconi that he will be the one chosen by the right wing who will win the elections, according to all forecasts.
Berlusconi apparently is dedicated to preventing Conte and his promises from setting up a mass flight of senators from his Forza Italia party and moves with the whip of discipline and promises that he knows how to make attractive.
The situation is very complicated for Prime Minister Conte and the parties of the ruling alliance of centroizquerda.
The bewilderment of Italians, who according to the polls reject by majority the idea that an institutional crisis is handled with such a pandemic in which infections and thousands of deaths are growing.
The coronavirus pandemic has also caused a deep economic and social crisis, with falling living standards and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and thousands of companies asking for help in a precarious situation.
The way out of this intricacy comes from the European Union, which has launched a plan of 750 billion euros, an almost fantastic figure, to sustain the 27 countries devastated by the pandemic and the economic and social crisis, with reconstruction plans subsidized and long-term, very low-interest loans.
Italy is the most benefited, with 209 billion, of which 80 thousand are as gifts.
This crisis looks like a perfect storm in Brussels, the headquarters of the EU, that updates the old prejudices and observations about the peninsular political style.
The governor of Campania (Naples), Vincenzo De Luca, maintains with a hurtful sarcasm that the real problem now is to discuss the reopening of the asylums, closed decades ago, to mark his contempt for the protagonists of this crisis.
The pandemic spreads in Italy and vaccination is delayed. Photo: ANSA
Delay in vaccination
The country faces pressing problems. For example with the supplies of millions of doses of vaccines. The mass vaccination plan, the only current hope for curbing the pandemic, has begun to falter due to delays at Pfizer, the main supplier, which has reduced the delivery of doses by more than 25%.
It was expected to compensate with the entry on the stage, at the end of this month, of AstraZeneca, linked to the University of Oxford, but this laboratory also announced that it will have problems in supplying its European customers.
After having vaccinated 1,300,000 people, Italy has had to stop because it is necessary to apply a second dose to complete the immunity of those already vaccinated. Pfizer promises to regularize its deliveries in February and March, but growing skepticism is spreading among the 27 EU countries.
Meanwhile the pandemic in Europe worsens, with Great Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain facing an uncontrolled spread of the virus.
In Italy, after a devastating second wave, the epidemic has reached a plateau, stabilizing a high daily number of infected and dead. Italians are not fooled, they know that the Great Epidemic is lurking, the third wave, which is already punishing neighboring countries.
They believe that a new tragic period is inevitable, which will force the battle against the corona virus to be concentrated in hospitals, forcing mass vaccinations to be transferred to other settings. A complication that can reach more tragic dimensions than those that have already been experienced.