Watch out for Berlusconi’s possible double-cross on the MES: official line for no, help under the table for yes

It would not be the first time for Silvio Berlusconi to exploit the internal divisions of Forza Italia to achieve two objectives, to play for both sides of a match. On closer inspection , it has been a leitmotif of the parliamentary conduct of his groups since 2011, when the position of his party in the center-right was reaffirmed, but at the same time he supported first the Monti government and then the Letta government; and from then on, to the opposition, but always ready to offer a crutch, a centrist rib, a group of leaders if necessary. Hoping to make a profit or a credit to collect.

The idea, or at least the temptation, returns to circulate in these hours in the circles close to Berlusconi and in Forza Italia to get out of the corner on the MES question.

The rejection of the Mes reform, which came like a bolt from the blue from the former premier, seemed without appeal, Claudio Borghi could have written it:

“On 9 December we will not support the ESM reform in Parliament because we do not believe that the modification of the Stability Mechanism approved by the Eurogroup is satisfactory for Italy and does not even go in the direction proposed by the European Parliament. There are two main reasons that worry us. The first: the decisions on the use of the fund will be taken by a majority of the states. Which means that the money paid by Italy can be used elsewhere even against the Italian will. The second: the Fund will be European only in form because the European Parliament will have no supervisory power and the European Commission will be called upon to play a purely notarial role. Unfortunately, our proposals for an indispensable ESM reform were ignored and confirmed by the vote of the European Parliament. And this is certainly not a good thing. For these reasons, therefore, Forza Italia will not vote in Parliament for this ESM reform ”.

But there are still several days to 9 December, when the parliamentary halls will have to express themselves through the resolutions that will accompany Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to the decisive European Council of 10-11 December. And immediately after Berlusconi's statement, internal dissent within Forza Italia began to leak. The "malpancisti" ready not to follow the instructions of the leader and to vote in favor of the new Mes would even be 2/3 of the parliamentarians. The debate within the groups becomes heated: isolation from the center-right or isolation in Brussels? According to some background, the leaders of the EPP have already taken steps to change the mind of the Cav, or at least to ensure a sufficient number of "managers" in Forza Italia.

At this point, as not infrequently happened, Berlusconi could decide to make the best of a bad situation, to turn a blind eye, or even to encourage some "little help" to the MES, to kill two birds with one stone: on the one hand, the official line "no Mes" to safeguard the relationship with the League, after the warning, the unequivocal either -or that came from Matteo Salvini ("if a member of the opposition votes for it, he ends up being a fellow traveler in the League") ; on the other hand, a few of his members would be enough to make up for any defections in the majority, or to make the votes necessary for a minority resolution lack, and to be able to claim to those responsible for having been decisive.

Yesterday, the regent Vito Crimi and the former boss Luigi Di Maio, received a letter from about seventy 5-star parliamentarians announcing their opposition to the Mes: to be precise, 52 deputies and 17 senators. Forza Italia can count on 91 deputies and 54 senators.

Berlusconi, who a few days ago – after leading the entire center-right to vote on the budget variance requested from Parliament by the Conte government – was treated as a statesman, as was to be expected in a few hours he was back "dirty" for the decent press. How ungrateful, more than someone pointed out, to say no to the MES immediately after collecting the amendment-shield from Vivendi's appetites for Mediaset . Perhaps, the Cavaliere is now free from conditioning, or perhaps he is just raising the price …

The post Keep an eye on Berlusconi's possible double-cross on the Mes: official line for no, help under the table for yes appeared first on Atlantico Quotidiano .

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Thu, 03 Dec 2020 05:01:00 +0000.