Antonello Guerrera Profile picture
May 14, 2018 34 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Hello all, as this can be a crucial day for the new (populist) #Italy government I am now going to tweet a short thread on it, focusing especially on the (almost ready) M5S-LEGA agenda. At least 70 billions of additional debt are expected. How will Europe react? THREAD 🇮🇹
1. As I have been personally saying since the first election results (see here ) and despite a broad general skepticism on it in #Italy, a LEGA-M5S government was the only possible, given the circumstances after the vote. So, now we are very close to it.
2. Five Stars Movement (M5S) leader Di Maio and LEGA leader Salvini have been negotiating for days on a coalition contract (like in Germany). There have reportedly agreed on many points (we'll see later). But the big hurdle is: who is going to be the new Prime Minister?
3. This is a real "Mister X". There are many names circulating, especially technocratic or with "judiciary" profiles, which is kinda the opposite of a "populist" government like Di Maio and Salvini are supposed to form, but President Mattarella would be more satisfied this way
4. BTW, President Mattarella is reportedly irritated by the fact that Salvini and Di Maio are negotiating on the new PM on their own, whilst according the formal procedure is the President who indicates a potential PM and asks him to form a government
5. I have to suspend this thread, I will resume it in a few hours. Thank you for your patience and talk later
6. Here I am again, thanks for your patience. So, who is the Mister X supposed to become the next PM chosen by M5S & LEGA? Several names are circulating, such as professors, jurists, but none of them look realistic at the moment. For sure Salvini doesn't want Di Maio as PM
7. Today Di Maio sounded quite optimistic about a future government wit LEGA, Salvini instead showed the "mean face" admitting that the two parties agendas are not so close. Moreover, he invoked a quick start for the new government.
8. Today LEGA and M5S asked Pres. Mattarella for more time to form their government. Some analysts today remarked that also their attempt to break the deadlock has failed. I might be wrong, but I don't think so. It is a political role-playing but their aim is the same: a govern.
9. LEGA and M5S are working surely hard to find a shared agenda to govern together. it is not easy, because, despite being both populist parties, there are substantial differences between the two. So they are negotiating on this single issues.
10. First of all: taxes. LEGA want a flat tax at 15%, which would be a radical shift in #Italy, as the actual tax burden in the country is often higher than 40% for middle class (now, only for the personal income tax, there are 5 different tax brackets, from 23% to 43%).
11. However, M5S has a really welfare state approach on this aspect. Anyway, according to some reports, the two parties have agreed on two income tax brackets, 15% and 20%, which in any case would be very low, given #Italy's history. But how much would it cost for Italy's budget?
12. Cutting taxes so drastically would cost at least 60 billions euro, which is a colossal sum for Italy budget. But the two parties are confident to reap money enough, like from tax amnesties (this despite M5S always professes honesty and vow to fight corruption)
13. Another critical point is the universal basic income, a very dear matter to M5S but always thwarted by LEGA. However, the two parties have reportedly agreed also on this: LEGA might accept a potentially limitless universal income, but stricter than previously planned by M5S.
14. As @repubblica and @valconte reported today, the two parties have also the same idea on pensions: they want to trash the law approved when Italy was going to go bankrupt in 2012 and make people retire earlier, thanks to the so called 100 (age + years of work) quota.
15. But other issues are thornier between M5S and LEGA, like on immigration and social ones
Despite some hard remarks on immigration by M5S founder Grillo, a large part of M5S voters are not xenophobic and feel uncomfortable governing with Salvini who is really harsh on migration
16. All in all, all the measures that M5S and LEGA are negotiating would cost at least 70 billions to #Italy's budget. This is something unsustainable and EU would never accept it. But Salvini insists that Italy won't follow euro-rules ("EU dictatorship" as he says) in case of
17. Moreover LEGA and M5S are also negotiating the composition of the new government (an early stage for Pres. Mattarella). According to some reports, Di Maio is poised to become the new foreign minister (if the PM goes to a “third figure”) while Home Affairs might go to Salvini
18. This is somehow not so reassuring. In the past Di Maio has already showed his weaknesses on foreign affairs. Once, for instance, he said that Pinochet was a dictator from Venezuela.…
19. More in general, about foreign affairs, several M5S representatives (like many from LEGA) have expressed approval (or admiration) for Putin - and Trump. Some other M5S politician has singled out Venezuela as a good example for #Italy.
20. And what about Salvini who may be a potential home affairs minister? He has often expressed very xenophobic remarks in the past. Here he says: “We need a mass cleansing, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, do this the hard way in case of”
21. BREAKING. EU Commission has just stated that any change to #Italy debt, budget and immigration policies is not welcome. This is a clear warning to Salvini and Di Maio. Surely Salvini will backfire soon attacking the “EU dictatorship”
22. This leads me to the relationship of Salvini and Di Maio (and M5S) with European institutions. Like other right-wing populists Le Pen, Farage etc, Salvini has always attacked EU and he always will. If he is involved in a government Europe will surely have a tough nut to crack
23. And I doubt Europe will ever succeed against Salvini, as he has been building up his approval often despising EU institutions. Di Maio has a different story. Recently he has been trying to show his more institutional side on many occasions, being very soft on euro matters.
24. However, M5S position on EU and euro policies has always been very confused. A part of their militants is strongly euro skeptical. Some weeks ago M5S founder Beppe Grillo has called for a referendum on euro (which would be illegal in #Italy, by the way)
25. With regard to M5S-LEGA economic proposals instead, today @FT writes “Rome opens its gates to the modern barbarians”. Economy policies are indeed the thorniest issue even in M5S and LEGA negotiations. And, yes, they are unexperienced and radical…
26. Along with the huge additional debt they are likely to create, what is worrying about M5S and LEGA economic policies is the fact that they are both radical but conflicting. LEGA want a flat tax, M5S have a sharp welfare state approach, like on universal basic income.
27. What "cocktail" will result from such conflicting economic measures? This is the most important thing in my opinion, especially because both Di Maio and Salvini sound unexperienced or sometimes naive. Economy is the most crucial point of the negotiations and also for #Italy
28. BREAKING. As expected, LEGA leader Salvini backfires to EU Commission warning on debt and new migration policies: "This is another unacceptable interference in #Italy's affairs. Now it's time for legality and security"
29. However, M5S and LEGA might put their potential contract to the vote of their members, like recently SPD in Germany for the Grand Coalition. So, if this government becomes reality (it is not sure for now, just likely), we will see the details of the LEGA-M5S agenda very soon.
30. Last thing before saying goodbye. Last week a Milan court has lifted a ban on #Berlusconi running for public office after his tax fraud conviction. Will this have an influence on the formation of the next #Italy government?
31. I don't think so. Berlusconi gave way to a LEGA-M5S government a few days before it. Surely Berlusconi is the most unpredictable politician in Italy, but I don't think it will have an impact on the short term. First of all, he will try to get a seat in the Parliament.
32. A very last thing. Which kind of majority would M5S and LEGA have in Parliament? Well, as you can see from this @repubblica graph, 30 seats more in the House of Representatives, but only 6 more in the Senate. This will be crucial in case of a LEGA-M5S government.
33. We'll talk more in depth about the M5S-LEGA agenda but it is wise to wait for the official version of it - if the negotiations have a positive outcome. Even though a M5S-LEGA government is likely, it is not to take for granted. I hope I was not too boring, thank you.

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More from @antoguerrera

Jul 30, 2018
Daisy Osakue, a young talented Italian athlete, (👇🏻) was the case today in #Italy. There is a long recent list of allegedly racially-motivated attacks. Was Daisy attacked because she is black? Is #Italy racist? Or is #Italy becoming more racist, given the new government? THREAD
First of all, I must say that I will try to handle this thorny subject as much sensitive and deep as possible, trying to avoid easy and superficial simplifications, despite it is not simple given the Twitter shortness. But I will try to do my best.
1. There is a very common saying in #Italy: “Italiani brava gente”, which means “Italians are good people”. This motto spread easily after the Second World War. It was mainly a way for Italians to subtly distance themselves from the German Nazis, former allies. But is this true?
Read 28 tweets
May 30, 2018
How #Italy has plunged into the maybe worst political crisis of its recent history and why this man below, one of the most xenophobic & eurosceptic leaders, Matteo Salvini, is the real winner so far and might become the game changer of Italian politics in the future. THREAD 🇮🇹
1. Let's start from the second point. Why a far right leader like Salvini, who distinguished himself in the past for his rash and violent attacks against migrants and Europe, is supposed to gain more votes and getting more and more decisive in the next months? Let's see.
2. First reason of all: the worldwide populist Zeitgeist. Ok, but there are many more specific reasons related to Italy and what happened in the last few months. In a few words, Salvini has won all his political bets, so far. And he is getting more and more influential.
Read 34 tweets
Apr 5, 2018
What is going on in #Italy after March 4th elections and the subsequent political deadlock? A quick and concise update on the thrilling party negatiotions/talks that officially started yesterday. Thread coming up shortly. 🇮🇹
1. Here I am (sorry I had to get some food at the 24h supermarket 😊). Well, the deadlock stays but there are some very interesting news that, at least, keep new elections at bay for now. And, beside the M5S-LEGA populist liaison, there is a new potential alliance at sight
2. But let’s go through it. The first thing is that M5S populist and young leader Di Maio has explicitly opened to an alliance either with right-wing LEGA or with centre-left PD (Renzi’s party). “Let’s make a coalition pact like in Germany” Di Maio said.
Read 17 tweets
Mar 30, 2018
Yesterday a big anti-terrorism operation took place in #Italy. Several suspect terrorists allegedly linked to ISIS have been detained or are wanted. They’re connected to Anis Amri, the perpetrator of 2016 Berlin terrorist attack, were allegedly planning to attack Italy 👉🏻THREAD
1. Everything started with the arrest on Wednesday of Elmahdi Halili, 23 years old, a guy born in Italy of Moroccan origin and living near Turin. He had been already arrested a few years ago for terrorist propaganda, he is the writer of the 1st Italian known ISIS manifesto
2. This time something was different though. Halili seemed to have upgraded his terrorist linked activity: in fact he allegedly turned into a jihadist recruiter, according to prosecutors, “raising” a dozen of potential terrorists to prepare a terrorist attack, likely in #Italy
Read 17 tweets
Mar 14, 2018
Hello all. Sorry for the late hour, but I wanted to give you just some quick updates on #Italy’s political deadlock. As I had hinted here in the past, despite many discarded it in the 1st place, a sort of “populist” collaboration between LEGA and M5S is more likely
I tell you why
1. Today LEGA leader Salvini and M5S leader Di Maio had a phone call. It is the 1st actual, concrete contact between the two after #Italyelection2018, after pretending to ignore each other. It was “a frank and kind call”, they said. But what did they discuss on the phone?
2. Well, according to official statements, they primarily discussed the question of the two Parliaments speakers (House of reps + Senate, it is the first stel after elections), stressing the fact that the matter is “unrelated” to the formation of a potential government
Read 23 tweets
Mar 4, 2018
Hello all, I will shortly start a live-tweeting on #ItalyElection2018 night. I will try to keep you posted with all the latest news, exit polls, vote projections until late (tomorrow morning shift, ouch)🇮🇹
Meanwhile, here you can find a guide to the vote
1. Turnout at 7 pm estimated at 57%. Not so much for #Italy standards. Not a good news for Renzi, in theory.
2. The Constitutional referendum turnout at 7 pm had a similar trend. Then (in 2016) the final turnout was 68,48%. If it stays so also today, it would be the lowest turnout in Italy republican history
In fact, it was 75% in 2013, 81% in 2008, 84% in 2006
Read 38 tweets

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