Italy's foreign minister quits Five Star Movement

In the wake of an internal dispute in the Five Star Movement over arms deliveries to Ukraine, Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has quit the party to form a new parliamentary group with around 60 MPs. The row started because he supports Prime Minister Mario Draghi's policy of delivering arms to Ukraine while party leader Giuseppe Conte opposes it. Before the split the Five Star Movement was the strongest group in the Italian parliament. Is this the end of the line for the party - and perhaps even for the country's fragile government?

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

End of the revolution

Corriere della Sera asks whether Cinque Stelle can recover from this row:

“The party of the relative majority no longer exists: it has split, lost its foreign minister, who is now establishing a group of his own, and is going through the final convulsions of a long-standing crisis whose consequences were clearly visible in the recent local elections. Di Maio, the 'political leader' of happy times when the votes showered down on the party, is now an enemy. The Five Star revolution that began nine years ago at the ballot box may have ended yesterday in parliament.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Draghi keeping a cool head

Fortunately Draghi is unfazed, La Stampa comments with relief:

“What would have happened if, at the end of these chaotic two days that led to the exit of Di Maio and almost a third of the Cinque Stelle deputies, there had not been at least one person in the domestic political landscape who stayed calm? ... That person is Draghi. ... He was not bothered in the least by the the Cinque Stelle leadership's rather mediocre spectacle, which first questioned the policy of providing military aid to Ukraine which Italy is pursuing in complete conformity with Nato and Europe, and then made a big fuss about forcing the prime minister to appear in parliament practically every week and before every decision.”