Long ago Matteo Renzi was lauded as the great hope for Italian politics in the shadow of Tony Blair. Like Tozza his halo became somewhat tarnished, after his promises to resign came and went, and he gradually became inconsequential. After the last election, running on the PD ticket, he left to form his own party of rag tag nobodies which glories in the name of Italia Viva – a singular name for a small group of dead beats. The ego of Matteo remains that of unelected prime minister, and lately he has decided that only he understands the problems of Italy. It is for this reason that he has decided, in the midst of a pandemic, economic collapse and bleak outlook, that he will withdraw his support for the coalition, forcing an election and playing straight into the hands of Salvini, Meloni and assorted grubs.
Renzi – father facing trial for false accounting – commands a wholly insignificant 2,9% of the popular vote – a percentage which, if his reforms had gone through, would have ensured no representation in parliament. And yet, at the moment he has 29 deputies, all as a result of defections from other parties. He’s playing a dangerous game, as if he forces an election he could well end up being on his own in the senate.
Of course Salvini, Meloni and Berlusconi are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of being elected by default and without directly causing the fall of the present government. Who will lose, if Renzi forces the vote, will be Italy who could do without a complete paralysis for the next 3 months, (and a further 6 months of trying to form a government) when there is a plan of reform to sort out in order to access the 200 billion euros of European money to put Italy back on its feet. If Renzi has his way Italy will, most likely, miss out the funding and descend into the arms of ultra right wing Meloni and her cohorts – which could make the last days of Trump seem calm. The only beneficiary of this would be the Daily Express which would be crowing with glee.
Today we will discover whether Renzi’s huge ego can be contained.