DiEM25 Italia: Salvini's threats must be countered!

Salvini’s perfidious calculation: He provokes a government crisis in plain summer and could not be blamed for the chaos the adoption of Italy’s new budget will unevitably bring about in September. Because people want to see implemented what Salvini’s Lega promised at the cost of further debts for Europe’s second highest indebted nation. Be sure that we will hear him shout: with me this wouldn’t have happened! And guess who will win the following elections.

Here is DiEM25 Italy’s comment on this situation:

In DiEM25 Italy we follow, with extreme attention and concern, the development of Italy’s governmental crisis, triggered by the arrogance and opportunism of the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini while he continues to ride the wave of consent shown by recent polls.

Arrogance, because Matteo Salvini asked for “full powers”, disregarding the institutions of the Republic and our constitution, particularly the layout of Italy’s parliament.

Opportunism, because a government crisis inmidst of August relieves Salvini’s Lega party of the responsibility to adopt the national budget in September which must avoid an automatic VAT increase to 25%.

The current crisis of government also jeopardizes the choice of who shall be the Italian member of the European Commission. This position has to be assigned by August 26.

For this reason, we hope that the Parliament – the only institution which by constitutional rules is responsible to form and unseat governments – will not decide for snap elections. They would put our country and the whole of Europe in serious trouble.

Although Matteo Salvini’s Lega had emerged from the snap elections back in 2018 only as the third political force, they soon managed to impose Lega’s trademark on the entire executive, which has in fact become the first xenophobic and nationalist government of Western Europe.

We believe that the anti-immigration policies pursued by the Lega are presumptuous. Although they are focused on demonising migrants, minorities and NGOs, the Lega hasn’t ever shown any interest in solving this issue, as demonstrated by Salvini’s desertion of the debate on the reform of the Dublin Convention in the last European Parliament legislature.

In fact, the real objective of the Lega’s policies – in coherence with the Berlusconi governments and Donald Trump’s tax reform – is dismantling the principles of social redistribution, progressive tax and the welfare state.

Instead, they demand the implementation of one or two tax brackets, which would only benefit high and very high incomes, thus further widening the range of socio-economic inequalities.

The lack of coverage (an estimated 50 billions) for the so-called “flat tax” for super rich foreigners looking to live in Italy (which is more or less the same as for the non-dom tax in the UK) is another reason for Salvini’s timing of this government crisis: in his absence from government, it will lead to another severe clash with the European Commission because it violates EU budget constraints and will create new threats to the stability of the single currency – caused by a political force that has more than once evoked the return to monetary sovereignty for Italy.

These threats to the Italian institutions, to minorities and to European unity must be countered.

We therefore urge progressives to react on this highly troubling scenario. Let’s propose a different agenda, a new way of thinking, showing that there is a third way between the European establishment and nationalism and that different sorts of social relations are possible. In order to contrast Salvini’s policies, we badly need alternative and distinctive proposals which are both radical and feasible.

We propose policies capable of filling our watchwords with meaning: ecological transition in the first place (beginning with abolishing contributions to fossil fuels which amount to 19 billion euros per year), promotion of a circular economy, investments in research, culture and education and the fight against austerity policies which cause growing poverty, wage and social dumping as well as increasing inequalities.

These policies will not be possible without a reform of the European Union. DiEM25 as a transnational movement was born with this aim, with its feet in different countries and its head in Europe, to reform both.

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