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Crisis of the Draghi government in Italy

Tuesday 26 July 2022, by Franco Turigliatto

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In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned as prime minister last week after three parties in his government refused to back him in a confidence vote. The country’s President, Sergio Mattarella, has asked him to remain as caretaker leader and early elections will take place this autumn.

Mario Draghi’s government was formed in February 2021, backed by the bourgeoisie to bring about a profound restructuring of Italian capitalism through a considerable input of European funds (almost 200 billion euros) aimed at financially supporting the most successful companies, imposing an even greater flexibilization of labour and implementing new and profound neoliberal counter-reforms in favour of capital.

You reap what you sow

It was a government of “national unity” involving all the main parties except Fratelli d’Italia, a far-right party, which only made a facade of opposition, largely agreeing with all the measures adopted.

Draghi’s policies have been shameful, starting with the “non-management” of the health crisis, increased military expenditure at the expense of social spending (health and school), the so-called differentiated autonomy of the regions that will further divide the country and, finally, economic policies that have favoured the reduction of wages and pensions and the generalization of precariousness.

The government is now beginning to reap what it has sown. It bears responsibility for a dramatic social collapse as evidenced by data from the National Institute of Social Security (INPS) and the Institute of Statistics: 5.6 million poor people, a third of workers earning less than 1000 euros per month, a large majority of new very short-term employment contracts, wages and retirement benefits among the lowest in Europe, and still further eroded by the explosion of inflation.

The crisis is not over

Social unrest, anger and despair are sweeping across large sectors of society, so much so that within the government, fearing uncontrollable popular uprisings, talk has begun of a “social agenda”, making some tax cuts to relieve wages and pensions a little, but further diminishing public resources while without in any way attacking rents and profits.

Even in a “normal” phase of capitalism, this project would have caused great social contradictions, but in the face of major events such as war, inter-imperialist conflicts, the climate and energy crisis, the resurgence of inflation (8%), and all this in a context of persistence of the pandemic, it could only plunge the country into a dramatic social crisis.

In this context of social crisis, all parties supporting the government (right and centre-left) have entered into conflict, each looking for proposals and tactical positions to stand out politically from the others before the general elections (no later than spring 2023), especially since FdI (Fratelli d’Italia), in the ranks of the opposition, although only in appearance, has been leading the polls for many months.

The M5S (MoVimento 5 stelle – 5-Star Movement) of Giuseppe Conte, the party of undifferentiated contestation that combines partially valid themes with objectives and practices that can be harmful, the majority force in three different governments, subject to pressures aimed at transforming it increasingly into a “normal” bourgeois party and assuming an increasingly marginal role, faces the threat of electoral collapse. Under pressure from its base and in the hope of recovering popular support, it is trying to break the deadlock with a kind of break in continuity. Hence the political crisis of the government and the resignation of Draghi, its referral to the Chambers by the President, a conflictual climate where everyone is positioning themselves against.

Blocking the road to the right and the far right

Many are mobilizing to recompose the government and keep the former banker in place; the interests of the bourgeoisie are more than ever working with a Draghi government to pass the financial law and the continuation of the so-called recovery and national resilience plan (PNR). It is no coincidence that Western leaders and bosses are supporting Draghi and pushing him to continue the “dirty”" work he has begun for the capitalists.

Whatever the conclusion of the political crisis, the main thing for the working classes is whether or not they will have the strength to build a social mobilization capable of opposing the policies of the bourgeoisie and its governments, of fighting against the high cost of living, against poverty, against the various forms of precariousness, for real wage increases snatched from the profits of the bosses, for a revaluation of pensions and to impose a real taxation of capitalist fortunes, rents and profits. It is also the only way to block the way to the right and the far right by preventing the apathy and anger of broad layers of society from moving in this very dangerous direction.


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