Towards Italian election with a possible Grosse Coalition Renzi-Berlusconi ahead

Italy is going towards new elections to be held in September or at the beginning of October. Matteo Renzi’s Partito Democratico (Party of European Socialist), Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (European People’s Party) and anti-establishment 5 Stars Movement (EFDD) parties agreed on the new German style electoral law. The new law is expected to be approved by July 7th, bringing Italy to new elections in September (24th) or October (8th).

Beppe Grillo’s movement and Partito Democratico are paired, respectively 30,5% and 30,4%, according to last IPSOS poll (May 26). Berlusconi’s Forza Italia stagnates at 13,2% while anti-immigration Lega Nord (Europe of Nations and Freedom) at 12,8%.

The new electoral law will be based on a proportional representation system with a 5% entry bar which will exclude many of the smaller parties, including the one led by current Minister for Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano (Area Popolare, EPP), the Greens and Left parties.

To reach the majority in the parliament (over 40%, 316 seats), there is the possibility of a new ‘Grosse Coalition’ Renzi-Berlusconi with the 5 Star Movement and Lega Nord in the opposition. This would be a re-edition of the so called “Patto del Nazareno”, the previous agreement between Renzi and Berlusconi signed in January 2014 which lasted until February 2015 and which was supposed to bring new Constitutional reforms in Italy.

Both Renzi and Berlusconi dismissed such scenario calling a possible alliance ‘unrealistic’ but the only other alternative is a no-government and the risk of a Spanish case with political-impasse for months could get closer if the two leaders decide not to form a coalition after the election.

The electoral law agreement will finally give the word back to the Italians, allowing them, after four governments not chosen by citizens, to decide who they want to be governed by,” said Berlusconi as reported by ANSA.

Some critics for the new possible election say that there could be a clash with the vote of the 2018 budget foreseen in Autumn. Renzi said he sees ‘no danger’ for this also because the 2018 budget bill would be a tough one and with his party in power, Renzi doesn’t want that to affect his electoral campaign negatively.

“We are continuing to collaborate with the Italian government but elections are part of democracy and the European Semester is not a problem because we are ready to take all the necessary decisions in every situation,” European Financial Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said during a press conference underlying that the European Union will not oppose new elections in Italy.

Current Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s mandate is coming to its end and a new electoral campaign under the Italian summer sun is approaching sooner than expected.