ROME — To ensure continued support for the coalition government, Giuseppe Conte, the leader of the 5Star Movement, has presented Prime Minister Mario Draghi with a list of demands. Among them is a minimum wage.
Following recent tensions in the ruling coalition that required Draghi to return early to Rome from a NATO summit in Madrid, he and former Prime Minister Conte had a face-to-face meeting.
In response to the 5Stars’ opposition to sending more arms to Ukraine, Conte had accused Draghi of attempting to expel them from the coalition. Two weeks ago, the conflict caused a rift within the Movement itself.
The introduction of a minimum wage, protection of the 5Stars’ signature welfare payments, and a budget adjustment to free up more funds to help with the cost of living crisis and inflation were among the nine demands Conte made of Draghi during the negotiations.
As he left the meeting, Conte declared that the 5Stars desired to remain in power. We are willing to share in the responsibilities of the government, and we have always been dependable and helpful, but we require a clear signal of change, he said.
The 5Stars need “precise and decisive responses which can constitute valid reasons to convince us to continue supporting the Draghi government,” he told reporters later on Wednesday. He stated that he didn’t anticipate solutions right away, but by the end of July.
According to the document, the 5Stars had endured attacks from their coalition partners and “accumulated profound political discomfort” while serving in the Draghi administration. It stated that “a clarifying discussion” was necessary.
The meeting, according to a government representative, was “constructive.”
The official continued, “Draghi is reviewing the requests, some of which seem to be consistent with the policies of the current government.”
Elections are expected to take place early in 2023, and the ruling parties, which have been losing support to the opposition as a result of the grand coalition, are making an effort to raise their profile by highlighting their differences.
However, Daniele Albertazzi, a politics professor at the University of Surrey, predicted that the government would probably last at least until the fall.
He added, “I anticipate Draghi will be able to satisfy at least some of their requests. There are some things that are easy to accomplish, like announcing a renewal of the green economy’s initiatives and reiterating that welfare measures will remain in place. He should be able to stay with just that.
Conte is in a hopeless predicament. He must address the discontent of his MPs and party members, but I don’t believe he can depart just yet because Italy is still awaiting the second installment of EU pandemic recovery funds and the budget must be approved in the fall, according to Albertazzi.
Given that support for the 5Stars has decreased by more than half since the 2018 elections, leaving now would also mean the end of its alliance with the Democratic Party, which he said the 5Stars are likely to need to survive.