The plan with the conservatives and the solid relationship with von der Leyen. Meanwhile, due to the choices regarding Rai and the tensions with the Court of Auditors over the Pnrr, the opposition parties and their allies in Strasbourg could accuse the executive of "Orban drift"
Even victories are two-sided medals. And the electoral results, in Italy as in Spain, contain pitfalls that Giorgia Meloni sees on the road that leads to the Europeans. The appointment could change the political geography of the Old Continent. And if it is true that Popolari and Conservatori start with the favors of the forecast, it is equally true that until the 2024 vote the rival forces will do everything possible to counter this plan. It can be seen in Brussels, where - says a minister - «the technostructure clings to quibbles without foundation to put a spanner in the works on the Pnrr». And this can be seen from the posture of certain chancelleries, in Paris as in Madrid, which have long been dedicated to attacking the Italian premier.
Therefore "we always pay attention", Meloni repeats on every government initiative: "We must not offer pretexts". To the point that the role of brakeman assumed by the Undersecretary to the Presidency Alfredo Mantovano is also creating tensions in FdI. But the European challenge will be a strategic step for the premier. And the fact that he hasn't committed any reaction fouls so far "It's bad news for your opponents in Brussels"diplomatic sources explain. Even if there are those who see a possible new polemical front: taking together the choices on Rai and the tensions with the Court of Auditors on the Pnrr, the oppositions and their allies in Strasbourg could accuse the executive of "Orban drift".
We will see. What is certain is that Meloni today boasts a dominant position in Italy also on the allies. On Matteo Salvini, for example, who will have to make a "choice of sides" in view of the Europeans. The premier is ready to welcome him into the ECR, if only she asks: but given the current balance of power with FdI, the head of the Northern League would formalize the role of Meloni's junior partner. The other option is to open up a (difficult) passage to the EPP, solution advocated by the regional governors and by Giancarlo Giorgetti. It is in this vein that the secretary of the League discussed the other evening with Silvio Berlusconi about a list common to the Europeans, which would offer him a shortcut and at the same time balance the values a bit with Meloni: but hostility is brewing in the two parties to the design that makes the plan unworkable.
Then there is the problem of the centre. Which is an Italian problem but also, indeed above all, of the Ppe. The European People's Party are in fact in the same conditions as in 1994, when the end of the PPI led Helmut Kohl to accept Forza Italia's entry into the «good drawing room» of Strasbourg. The point is that today there isn't another Berlusconi. If only because Meloni does not intend to give in to the discreet courtship of the head of the popular Manfred Weber. If anything, he will talk about it again after the Europeans. So at the moment there are two projects on the centre. One is linked to Letizia Moratti, the other to Maurizio Lupi. The first boasts Matteo Renzi's behind-the-scenes support. The second asks the Knight to build together with other lists an "Italian section of the EPP" to go to the vote with a new symbol. Both — aware that in the elections it will be necessary to overcome the trap of 4% to enter the European Parliament — are waiting to understand Berlusconi's intentions, who however does not seem to want to open what remains of his electoral safe. In fact, he replies to everyone: «Come with me». And there are those who even consider that the former prime minister could apply to tow the Forza Italia list with his approval.
Meloni is aware of the maneuvers taking place, but does not expose himself. Also because, before the 2024 vote, there will be two important national tests: the July elections in Spain and those of October in Poland, where his allies of the Pis will have to face the popular Tusk. "That will be the cornerstone of the future alliance with the EPP", underlines an authoritative FdI executive. In short, nothing is taken for granted. Of course, the crisis of the PSE, the difficulties of Emmanuel Macron in France and those of Olaf Scholz in Germany, let us predict that the political balance will shift to the right at the European Council. But it is possible that a large majority could be needed in Parliament, to which Ursula von der Leyen is aiming to be confirmed at the helm of the Commission. «She and Giorgia the other day in Romagna looked like two friends», says those who have seen them up close. Meloni remains open to all solutions. In any case, it will be difficult for her opponents in Europe to keep her out of the control room.
The Political Diary newsletter
If you want to stay updated on political news, subscribe to the newsletter "Political Diary". It is dedicated to Corriere della Sera subscribers and arrives twice a week at 12. Just click here.
May 30, 2023 (change May 30, 2023 | 22:34)
© REPRODUCTION RESERVED