Tag Archives: Giuseppe Conte

The Italian 5Star Movement loses its luster – POLITICO | Instant News

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5Stars Italy is facing an identity crisis that threatens to split the movement in two.

After long defining itself as an anti-establishment movement, the party last week decided to support a government clearly led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, which was brought in after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s 5Star coalition government collapsed amid disputes over pandemic relief. plan.

But a rebel group of 31 purist 5Star MPs refused to follow the decision and voted against Draghi. Another 20 did not appear for the vote. Now they all faced expulsion from the party. And the 5Star Movement is grappling with what it means for the fake outsider, the Eurosceptic group to work with Draghi, Europe’s deepest insider. Draghi once ran the European Central Bank, was vocally pro-European integration and associated with it push economic policies in Italy in 2011 that are not in line with the anti-austerity of 5Stars, the origins of Eurosceptics.

Joining Draghi’s government also meant working with arch enemy, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party.

However, being in Draghi’s coalition also gives the party a platform to pursue some of its top goals – such as an environmental agenda – and participate in how to spend the € 209 billion that Italy hopes to receive from its post-pandemic EU recovery. fund.

The split over the decision marks the culmination of a long-expected split between the pragmatic and purist wings of the party, which have always been united by an unexpected mix of ideologies. And that could result in the faction that broke away from the 5Star movement to form a new party. Even before Draghi’s rebellion, more than 40 previous 5Star MPs had left the dribs and drab movement.

“5Star was created to overcome the power of financial institutions over the people and the state,” said Senator Matteo Mantero, one of the 5Stars members who voted against Draghi. “Choosing this government means denying one of the reasons we emerged.”

Make a decision about Draghi

When Draghi was tapped earlier this month to form a new coalition government, the 5Star Movement was faced with a dilemma: supporting Draghi to stay in government and compromising some long-held ideals, or opposing him, losing power and influence but maintaining ideological purity.

5Stars asks questions of its members, and nearly 60 percent followed calls from party leaders to support the new government.

That’s when the defection started. Alessandro Di Battista, a prominent figure on the purist wing of 5Stars, quit the party, proclaimed, “My political conscience can no longer continue.”

Following his leadership, 15 senators and 16 lawmakers voted against Draghi in a confident vote on Wednesday and Thursday, leading 5Stars to announce the expulsion process on Friday.

“This is not the right person to manage [EU] recovery funds, ”said Mantero, citing Draghi’s past economic position and concerns about Draghi’s push for greater European integration and more repatriation of migrants.

But party loyalists argue that getting in power allows them to advance 5Stars’ environmental agenda, and establishes some conditions, such as the creation of a new green transition super ministry.

“Being in government, we can defend the results 5Stars has achieved, improve this country and the daily lives of its citizens,” said lawmaker Valentina Barzotti in a speech to the lower house ahead of the vote.

In fighting Draghi, the dissidents also violated the internal 5 Star rule to respect the online votes of movement members.

A 5Stars senator said that following the votes of the members is sacred: “The net must decide. Anyone who votes against the wishes of a member is against party values ​​and that is reason enough for expulsion. “

Defectors aren’t the only ones tempted to oppose Draghi, according to two 5Stars lawmakers. “There are a lot of doubts – we all have doubts,” said the senator.

Former Minister for Infrastructure Daniele Toninelli, a member of 5Stars, is open about his doubts.

In a video On social media, Toninelli said his vote for Draghi was “unconditional” and had to be earned on a daily basis.

The future of the 5Star Movement

If expelled, some dissidents say they will try to form a parliamentary group to help oppose Draghi’s rule. This may include some of those who have previously left 5Stars. In Battista beckoned she may be of help, writing on Facebook that it is “a time to build a strong opposition.”

But those close to the 5 Stars Movement say such breakaway groups will struggle to find common ground.

“It would be difficult for them to coordinate harmoniously,” said a former 5Stars insider. “They are too different – there aren’t many things that unite them.”

Others facing expulsion, including Mantero, plan to appeal their dismissal and return to 5Stars.

For now, the defection has given 5Stars less leverage in government – there are now more right-wing senators backing Draghi than representatives of the center-left.

In the long term, supporting established parties like Forza Italia could hurt 5Stars in the polls, said Lorenzo Pregliasco of polling firm You Trend.

“Supporting old political parties can have an impact on their vote,” said Pregliasco, adding that Draghi was less popular with 5Stars voters than Conte, the previous prime minister.

Currently, the 5 Star vote is only 15 percent nationally – down from the 32 percent that brought them to power in 2018.If that number holds, nearly three-quarters, or about 200 5 Star lawmakers, will lose their seats in the next election. .

Such an outcome could signal a ebb in the populist wave that brought 5 Stars to power in 2018.

Analysts say the 5Star Movement’s best chance of remaining a mainstream party is aligning itself with Conte, who has no party affiliation but is close to 5Stars and held approval ratings of above 60 percent for most of the past year.

Conte has for now returned to his job at the University of Florence, without making clear his next political move. But at his last press conference as prime minister, he suggested he could return, saying “to my friends in the 5Star Movement: I am here and I will be here.”


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Health experts are calling for new, stringent lockdowns as the UK variant of COVID-19 sweeps Italy | Instant News

Medical staff are inside a gazebo outside a pharmacy where rapid COVID-19 tests are conducted, in Rome, on February 11, 2021.

YARA NARDI / Reuters

Just days after he was sworn in as Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi faced calls to delay his economic reform agenda and concentrate on a new health emergency when the UK’s highly contagious variant of COVID-19 swept through the country.

Leading health authorities this week urged Draghi’s unity government to implement stricter measures to fight the virus even though the daily number of new COVID-19 positives was well below its November peak.

They are afraid of the British variant, known as English variant in Italy, it will immediately trigger a spike in infections and deaths unless a strategy is implemented that can include the strict national lockdowns seen in the spring.

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The Instituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s top health agency, revealed in a technical report published Monday that a British variant had been found in 17.8 percent of new cases, and as high as 59 percent in some regions – an indicator that it could be the dominant strain.

The study of the British variant, which emerged in southeast England in November, shows that it is more deadly than other versions of the coronavirus, as well as far more contagious.

A new report by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group, a scientific advisor to the British government, says the variant is likely 30 percent to 70 percent deadlier than other versions in circulation. The report compares the hospitalization and death rates for the British variant, officially known as B.1.1.7, with those infected by other strains.

On Tuesday, Massimo Galli, a prominent infectious disease professor and doctor at Milan’s Luigi Sacco Hospital, said on Italian TV that patients who had the British variant flooded the ward. “We all agree that we want to reopen, but I found an environment that was attacked by a new variant – and it is happening all over Italy, which makes it easy to predict that we will soon have more serious problems,” he said. “It’s not fun, but it’s a fact.”

Walter Ricciardi, a professor of public health at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and an adviser to the Italian health ministry, called for a new, aggressive approach to fighting the virus. “It is clear that the strategy of coexistence with the virus adopted so far is ineffective and makes us unstable, with a high number of deaths every day,” he told Italian news agency Ansa.

The Italian foundation for evidence-based medicine, GIMBE, has welcomed calls for tougher action. Its president, Nino Cartabellotta, said on Monday that “a complete lockdown of two weeks will result [contagion] curved downward, allowing trace and trace resumption. “

Andrea Crisanti, the University of Padua microbiologist who forecasts a second wave at the end of summer, and CTS, the government’s scientific committee, are calling for lockdowns to contain the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.

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Italy uses a three-tier system of regional restrictions – red, orange, yellow – to control the spread of the virus. Most of the country’s 20 regions are colored yellow, with the lightest boundary. Under the previous government, led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Italy relaxed restrictions in January even as other countries, including Germany, tightened them.

Mr Draghi has made tackling the pandemic a priority but provided few details on his strategy and whether it would include a national lockdown.

As of Tuesday, Italy had recorded 94,171 deaths from the pandemic, the second highest in Europe after Britain, and more than 2.7 million cases.

The high number of COVID-19 infections in some places makes new variants of the virus more likely to emerge. Science reporter Ivan Semeniuk explains how a vaccine may not be as effective against this new strain, so a race to control and track the spread of the variant before it becomes a dangerous new outbreak. Globe and Mail

Register to Coronavirus Update Bulletin to read important coronavirus news, features and explanations of the day written by Globe reporters and editors.


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Covid-19: Italy extends travel restrictions between regions | Instant News

The final decision by the Conte government is out.

Italy has extended a travel ban between regions until February 25 as part of national measures to curb COVID-19.

Decision – the last by the government is out Giuseppe Conte – following calls from regional governors to extend the ban amid concerns over the potential spread the covid-19 variant from hotspots across the country.

The extension, announced after this afternoon’s cabinet meeting, comes before the existing ban expires on February 15.

It was widely expected that the ban would be extended to March 5 but in the end the outgoing Conte government opted for a 10-day extension instead, as Italy awaited its creation. Mario Draghinew government.

The measures apply to all autonomous regions and provinces of Italy, with travel only permitted for urgent or necessary reasons such as health or work.

The extended ban will mean that people will not be able to travel – at least initially – to ski slopes in other regions (yellow zone) after reopening for business on Feb 15.

Photo credit: faboi / Shutterstock.com.


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What We’re Watching: Iranian cat cornered on nuclear, Italian political maneuvers, Asian-American being targeted | Instant News

Iran says “alright, we’re going to get nuclear, are you happy?” Iran has threatened to publicly pursue the development of nuclear weapons unless the United States lifts sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic Republic. The threats, coming from Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, raise the stakes as Tehran and Washington look for ways to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018. Since then, the US has imposed more sanctions while Iran has been in breach. limit enrichment of uranium. Now the two sides are deadlocked over who should step down first: Iran says the US must lift sanctions, while Washington insists Tehran resume compliance with the original deal again before that can happen. For years Iran has officially, if not completely convincingly, denied that its nuclear program is for military use – but “if a cat is cornered,” Alavi warned, “it may exhibit some kind of behavior that a free cat would not.” We are disappointed to learn that Mr. Alavi missed the opportunity to make this statement when using a cat filter in Zoom.

Two Italian Matteos: As former head of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi continuing talks to form a new Italian coalition government, two powerful politicians named Matteo contested his attention. The first is former prime minister Matteo Renzi take credit to force the collapse of the previous cabinet led by Giuseppe Conte and ushered in Draghi’s appointment to avoid new elections amid the pandemic. The second is Matteo Salvini, the former interior minister under Conte’s first coalition cabinet and leader of the far-right Lega party, who is now embrace Draghi to please wealthy northern voters after years of railing against the same Brussels bureaucracy that Draghi supported when he chaired the ECB. At this point it’s unclear whether Matteo, or even both, will join Draghi’s government. But having a number of powers willing to offer their support from the start is a rare feat in Italy, which traditionally rotates through the PM at high speed amid a highly fragmented and dysfunctional political system. Maybe the hugely popular “Super Mario” really could save Italy – like he did with the Eurozone – after all.

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans: In recent weeks, Asian-Americans – especially the elderly – have been doing it targeted in a wave of violent attacks. This issue received national attention after Dead from an 84 year old Thai man who was pushed roughly in San Francisco. US celebrities from Asia are now leading the call for Justice on social media, and activists fear that will happen got worse this weekend due to Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatowns across America. The Asia Pacific America National Council told us that the surge in hate crimes is “a result of the hostile xenophobic climate created by the Asian community’s scapegoat for the pandemic,” and stressed that the elderly are particularly vulnerable and isolated because of the mobility restrictions of COVID. We’re watching to see if the Biden administration follows through with it promise to tackle racist violence against Asian Americans, and whether a successful vaccine launch contributes to more safety for members of this community in the US.


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