Italy is in a political crisis as the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) opposed parts of the economic stimulus package proposed by their coalition partners in the Mario Draghi-led government.
On July 14, Prime Minister Mario Draghi survived a vote of confidence in the Italian Senate, but he tendered his resignation to the president of the county citing his unwillingness to lead the government without the support of the M5S. The Five Star Movement boycotted the vote of confidence in the Senate on the same day.
The Italian president Sergio Mattarella refused to accept the resignation. The Five Star Movement has raised concerns over some proposals, which are part of a financial package worth €23 billion (USD $23.09 billion) earmarked to fight the cost of living crisis marked by high fuel prices and soaring inflation. Observers have pointed out that the M5S’s refusal to support the Draghi government’s financial package was a tactic to recover popularity and approval ratings of a party weakened by splits. If Draghi refuses to continue as prime minister and the incumbent parties fail to form a new majority coalition, Italy will go for a snap election much earlier than the general elections scheduled for 2023.
Progressive sections of Italy, especially the communists, trade unions, youth-student groups have been waging militant struggles against the neoliberal policies of the Mario Draghi-led government. People across the country, exhausted by the prolonged COVID-19 crisis, are now facing an unbearable cost of living crisis. Meanwhile, the government has been busy implementing European Union-dictated austerity policies, and supporting NATO’s schemes in the ongoing Russia–Ukraine war.
Mario Draghi, an economist and former president of the European Central Bank, was invited to form his government in 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and a political crisis triggered by the collapse of the Giuseppe Conte-led coalition government of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD). In February 2021, Draghi assumed the prime ministership of the government of national unity, consisting of parties ranging from social democrats to the far-right including the M5S, PD, the Northern League (LN), Forza Italia, among others, and promised to restore the Italian economy, adhering to the EU diktats.
According to Potere al Popolo (Power to the People), the Mario Draghi government has been always a government for the millionaires, and the M5S leader Giuseppe Conte’s recent maneuvers to oppose a government which it has been long part of, are a political gimmick, not for for the sake of people. “Once again, the distance between this political class and ordinary people is measured,” the party expressed in a tweet. The party said the crisis was a reflection of party interests and power games.
According to Maurizio Acerbo from the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), “the fall of the anti-worker government of war-mongers is good news. Draghi’s government never paid attention to the poor living conditions of the working class, job precariousness, low wages, increasing inequality and poverty, environmental issues, and the public sector including healthcare and schools.”