The Five Star War in Rome: The Italian government is shaken by the question of Russia

Prime Minister Draghi is trying to restore Italy on the international stage. However, a violent confrontation within the Five Stars Movement could dangerously thwart his plan.

If you look at the foreign policy of Germany, France and Italy since Russia attacked Ukraine, you could say that Berlin, Paris and Rome shared their tasks. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron would therefore pay more attention to diplomatic solutions, including dialogue with non-EU countries such as Turkey; On the contrary, Prime Minister Mario Draghi is more concerned with the economic consequences of the war. It is only an estimate, but one that would be understandable given the international reputation enjoyed by the former Governor of the European Central Bank. In any case, this thesis has its supporters in Italy.

In the Italian media, during a train ride to Kiev, Schghz and Macron Draghi spoke mainly to the Chancellor to persuade him to agree to one of his most important demands on the EU. There is talk of a ‘price cap’, a Europe-wide cap on the purchase price of gas, because current prices would not only stifle Europe’s economy and consumers, Draghi concludes, but will also give Putin an enormous income – an income the Kremlin’s chief has allowed to cut gas supplies to Europe. as recently to Germany and Italy.

Five stars ruin Draghi’s plans

Since taking office in February 2021, Draghi has sought to bring Italy back to the international scene as a trusted partner. In his first speech to the Italian Senate, he warned – addressed to all sides of his broad and diverse coalition – that Italy remained “firmly anchored in the EU” and also considered itself a “protagonist of the Atlantic Alliance.”

But one of the governing parties could thwart his efforts. This time it’s not about the right-wing populist Lego boss Matteo Salvini, who is constantly campaigning. This time it’s the Five Stars Movement. And in a way that calls into question the stability of the government and thus the credibility of the country.

Di Maio under pressure in his side

In the Five Stars Movement, a power struggle has broken out between former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte – who is now the party’s leader – and former Five Stars chairman and current foreign minister Luigi Di Maio. Conte, whose political leadership still seems unstable, has decided to set foot in foreign policy. He has been drumming against further arms supplies to Ukraine for weeks. He demanded that Draghi have the Senate vote today on further arms supplies, although these had already been approved by decree in March and both chambers of parliament by the end of 2022.

On the other hand, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Di Maio has become an increasingly open supporter of the NATO and EU course. A few days ago, he described Conte’s position as “anti-Atlantic.” Therefore, a meeting of the National Council of the movement was hastily convened on Sunday evening. After hours of debate, he decided not to expel Di Maia from the movement, at least for now.

The strongest faction would currently be 11 percent

All this could be considered an internal struggle without the war and its social and economic consequences and the political stability of Italy. Financial markets also appear to be concerned about the latter, as the interest rate differential between Italian and German government bonds has widened recently.

According to surveys, the five-star movement is now just over 11 percent. Yet she never gets tired of emphasizing that she is the strongest group in Parliament. In the elections in March 2018, she won a good 32 percent. Therefore, internal disputes cannot be resolved only as skirmishes. Because the split in the movement is likely to herald the end of Draghi’s governing coalition.

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