But Conte took very little time to prove that he was not a Travicello King at all. Already in his first public release, that is the parade on June 2nd, surprised everyone by denying and in fact burying all the propaganda and rhetoric that had won the elections on the anti-political front. To a citizen who screamed at him “Clean up, chase them all away!”Carneade Conte replied: “It is wrong to represent Italy as a country of corrupt people. There are episodes of corruption just as there are in other countries”. And in saying this he silenced not only his interlocutor, but also the movement that had brought him to Palazzo Chigi.
The two years since that debut have confirmed that the “Italian lawyer” is far from being a stunt double and anything but an unwary. Without ever screaming, without shaking the squares, without ever messing up, he put in the corner those who were to be his puppeteers: first Salvini, of whom he rejected the assault launched on Papeete; and then Di Maio, to whom the leadership of the Movement marched. Like an Andreotti I revived, managed to stay afloat when the government majority overturned; and when “the darkest hour” came, he knew how to calm the Italians. Of course with speeches aired always late, or even at night: but persuasive, anxiolytic, with those “we allow” followed by an inevitable “but be careful”. As a professor from the South he gave us a series of lessons, which apparently the Italians mostly liked.
Whether he can resist, where the case put it, another two years, we don’t know. It has overcome many challenges. But now he has the most difficult one: feeding the hungry. Will he succeed?
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