Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will be unable to implement the key reforms the European Union is demanding because his unity government is too divided on these issues, right-wing leader Matteo Salvini said Saturday.
Salvini, who leads the League, told newspapers that he would support Draghi to become the next president in parliamentary elections in early 2022. If Draghi accepts the post, his coalition will automatically collapse, paving the way for early elections.
“In any case, this government will not reform the justice and tax system,” Salvini told La Repubblica, stating that the center-left parties in the broad cabinet of ministers have very different views from their center-right counterparts.
Virtually all major parties across the political spectrum have supported the Draghi administration, which came to power in February, which means it will be extremely difficult to reach agreement on critical issues.
Draghi pledged to Brussels that he would undertake ambitious reforms to raise more than € 200 billion ($ 243 billion) from the EU recovery fund, which aims to help countries tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The promised measures, which have not yet been presented to the cabinet, include plans to cut bureaucracy, shake up a complex tax code, and rationalize a notoriously slow legal system.
EU money will only be issued in tranches, which means that the taps could be closed if reforms are not implemented.
The current legislature expires in 2023, and if Draghi becomes president in early 2022, his proposed reform timeline will fade into the background, leaving the next government to start over.
“As for us, if he agrees, the next head of state will be Mario Draghi,” Salvini told Corriere della Sera.
In the media, Draghi has long been touted as the natural successor to President Sergio Mattarella, but he himself has not commented on whether he wants the post.
Opinion polls show that the center-right bloc led by the Salvini League will win the next elections. However, within its bloc, the League runs the risk of being ousted by the increasingly popular ultra-right “Brothers of Italy” party.
Political analysts say the threat of losing his role as the undisputed leader of the right could push Salvini to vote sooner rather than later. read more
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