Furore over possibility of Salvini trial
Italy's former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini may go on trial for not allowing migrants to disembark from the Italian coastguard vessel Gregoretti for several days during the summer after a Senate committee called for his immunity to be lifted. Salvini's right-wing Lega also voted in favour of the proceeding, in accordance with Salvini's wishes. Representatives of the governing parties abstained from voting on the grounds that Salvini is just trying to cast himself as a victim before Sunday's elections in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna.
Political contorsions causing lasting damage
The issue that should be dealt with is being ignored, complains Corriere della Sera:
“Those who believe that the leader of the Lega is innocent decided yesterday to put him before the judges purely for campaign reasons. ... Those who believe he is guilty didn't turn up at the hearing because they question the legitimacy of the proceedings. ... One wonders whether it was worthwhile; and what lasting damage this farce is causing. The impression that this is no longer about evaluating the facts of the case at all is reinforced by these aspects that are embarrassing for the institutions. And we can be sure that the situation will continue to deteriorate, whatever the outcome of the elections on Sunday.”
A show that could decide the government's future
HuffPost Italia describes the affair as absurd theatre:
“The government, which after all wants Salvini to be put on trial, has deserted the session in the Palazzo della Sapienza. ... Matteo Salvini, who doesn't want to end up behind bars, has handed himself over to the judges. ... This is how the chronicle of an announced delirium reads, a surreal day on which everything and its opposite takes place. A kind of theatre of the absurd is being performed just a few days before the elections in Emilia-Romagna, the red region par excellence. A show that could decide the fate of the government, or at least the fate of the PD [centre-left Partito Democratico] and the alliance with the 'comrades' of the Five Star movement.”