A staged government crisis in Rome?
Italy's government made up of Lega and the Five Star Movement is at odds over what to do about a junior minister in the Transport Ministry who is accussed of corruption. Five Star has demanded the resignation of the Lega minister and the cabinet is to reach a decision this Wednesday. But the case of the junior minister is just a pretext, observers suspect.
The art of personalisation
The leaders of both parties, Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio, are outwardly seeking confrontation in the run-up to the European elections, journalist Giancarlo Loquenzi speculates in La Stampa:
“The two leaders are turning the European elections into an acrimonious referendum about them. In so doing not only are they assuming the role of the opposition in addition to their government function - which is a high effective PR tactic - but they're also going a step further: inducing voters to focus solely on the choice between Matteo Salvini and Luigi die Maio. As tensions between the two of them escalate day after day they are communicating the message to the electorate that in the European elections the only choice is to put a cross either next to Salvini or Matteo's name.”
Five Star is afraid of a debacle
Five Star in particular will be trying to exploit the row in the run-up to the European elections, historian Paolo Mieli suspects in Corriere della Sera:
“This is an interesting election campaign which the Five Star Movement is using to try to avoid a looming debacle. ... Before we analyse its strategy we should recall that the European elections are among the least favourable moments for the movement founded by Beppe Grillo, which basically has nothing to say on the subject of Europe and whose ideas on international policy are pretty confused. ... Moreover, M5S is in a sorry state ahead of the elections, having taken a beating in recent polls (and local election results) that show the party losing ever more votes. A loss made all the more painful by the dramatic increase in support registered by Lega.”