From Dragons to the American Ambassador. The web of reports by Minister Di Maio – La Stampa


ROMA. TAmong the majestic white marbles of the Farnesina, far from the small daily quarrels of his Movement, Luigi Di Maio has for months been weaving a dense network of relationships that touches Washington, Brussels, the large state-owned companies, the Libyan question and the “directors” of the Democratic Party, Dario Franceschini, and of the League, Giancarlo Giorgetti. The attempt is to build a new image; for himself, far from that of the ras of a party torn by internal struggles, and for the Five Stars, with a strong pro-Atlantic vocation, pro-Atlantic, independent of right-wing sovereigns and left-wing progressives. The face to face with former ECB President Mario Draghi, which took place on 24 June at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of which AdnKronos reports, is a piece of the mosaic. “One of the usual institutional meetings that the owner of the foreign ministry is also used to holding with other institutional authorities”, is explained by Di Maio’s men. «It was a positive and fruitful meeting. European dossiers are at the center of the talks ». All normal, yet, the news comes out sixteen days later, exactly one week after the European Council in which the Recovery fund will take shape. And where Giuseppe Conte, the rival for the leadership of the party, will play the most important game of his experience in government.

The duel between the two, therefore, also takes place on the level of personal relationships in Roman buildings and outside national borders. And the United States represents, in this strategy, the central part of the design. Di Maio was the first to bring the Movement closer to the United States and to deflate Russian fascinations. Not a word was spent against the extension for another six months of the European sanctions in Moscow, decided a week ago in Brussels. On the other hand, there is no lack of opportunity to renew the centrality of Italy in the Atlantic Pact and friendship with “our main ally, the USA”. Overseas, however, they expect words to be followed by “love tests”, as in the dossier to oust the Chinese Huawei and Zte from the development of 5G. This theme was addressed several times during the frequent visits to the American ambassador in Rome, Lewis Eisenberg. The last Tuesday, during which the Foreign Minister opened to the possibility of a change of positioning of the Movement on the theme of 5G.

To get to the heart of Washington, however, the ex-political leader of the Movement knows that one must also pass by the large state-owned companies such as Leonardo, who for years has been collaborating with the United States in the defense sector. This is why – they tell the Farnesina – Luciano Carta, Leonardo’s president, is highly regarded. And for the same reason, he asked for two posts on the board of directors for people of proven trust: Carmine America, his former classmate, and Paola Giannetakis. While in Libya, given the American reluctance to enter the Tripoli powder keg, the banks sought by Di Maio are mainly European, thanks to the bond cultivated in recent months with the High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell.

On the other hand, there has been a lack of fluidity of relations with the Vatican, given the privileged relations of Conte with the ecclesiastical circles, which have already emerged with the yellow-green government. From the sinking of that experience, however, the esteem for the former undersecretary of Palazzo Chigi, Giorgetti, with whom contacts continued and also some reserved meetings, has survived, despite being detested by the rest of the Five Stars. Of course, now the telephone rings more often in the Nazarene, in the rooms of Nicola Zingaretti and Franceschini, because the Movement – the Foreign Minister reasons with his – must have to be able to lean on the right as on the left, if it wants to remain in government. However, an agreement on the electoral law will have to be found first. And on this ground, Di Maio hooks the most hated man ever from the grill world, Matteo Renzi, with whom the interlocutions are as assiduous as they are unstable. However, they are necessary to give shape to his project: to return to lead the Movement, bring it back to the government and try to sit in Palazzo Chigi. In place of Conte.

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