Government, the duels between Conte and Franceschini in increasingly tense meetings

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They had started off well, like a close-knit couple. Dario Franceschini, more experienced and accustomed to the misfortunes of politics, Giuseppe Conte always affable and kind. The two seemed to have a good feeling, also because the head of the delegation of the Democratic Party is a man of considerable diplomatic skills and his concern was not to let the dems enter the friction with the premier and with the allies. But over the months the situation has changed. Conte, as he was conducting satisfactory surveys, seemed willingly to do without the help of the Minister of Culture, centralizing the government agenda in his hands. And it is precisely this trend of the premier that created the first discontent in the Democratic Party, with Franceschini in the middle, but less inclined to mediate. Also because (and in this the party agrees) he thinks that centralization does not correspond to a real decision-making capacity. “Too many postponements,” he complains to government colleagues who agree with him.

Premier besieged

Let’s be clear, the Minister of Culture does not aim to undermine Conte. He is convinced that “there is no alternative” to the current prime minister and that in the event of a crisis “it would not be easy to recompose the picture”. But he fears that “a ship without a rudder is in danger of sinking”. The prime minister, who feels besieged, has started to complain about him, even with the representatives of the Democratic Party. The last divergence (because of the clash this time we cannot speak) was registered in the decree for simplifications. Or rather, on the amnesty. Conte defended him almost to the end. Franceschini, however, was categorical: “We must make every trace of it disappear from that text, otherwise instead of calling it a decree simplifications will call it an amnesty decree”. He also won because all the allies were with him. But in the evening from Palazzo Chigi they took their revenge by filtering the news that the rules on hiring in the public administration (excl. Like the amnesty) mainly concerned the Ministry of Culture. As if to say that Franceschini wanted to proceed with a flood of hires in his department but Conte had stopped him. The truth is that the representative of the Democratic Party (like Nicola Zingaretti, moreover) believes that the new digital generations should be brought into the PA “.

Confidential criticism

The first differences between the two date back to the beginning of March, when Franceschini warned Conte: “Do not underestimate the coronavirus”. In those convulsive days the two often clashed. Like the time when Franceschini imposed the hard line on the closure of schools to the premier. But he has always publicly defended him, so as not to undermine the government. Even when everyone attacked him: “I want to say publicly that President Conte must be thanked for his work relentlessly, with a responsibility on his shoulders that no predecessor has ever had to carry.” This did not prevent him in April from criticizing confidentially Conte who did not want to access the Mes: “Your is a preliminary ruling.” But he was heard saying: “It makes no sense to talk about it now.”

The clash over the general states

The most intense clash was on the general states. Conte proposed them without warning neither Zingaretti nor Franceschini. “You have not shared this initiative with anyone, you have decided everything”, the PD delegation head attacked him. And in those days Franceschini urged Conte to the Council of Ministers. First on the Regeni case: “A public position must be taken.” Then on the Salvini decree: «It must be changed immediately». But we will talk about it in September, because Conte does not want to go along with the Democratic Party to stand against the 5 Stars. Another chapter of the Franceschini-Conte saga is the electoral law. The first had managed to find a square on the proportional system. But it seems that the prime minister, with Renzi and the grillini, now has some reservations about that agreement. Those who know both, however, assure that the two will never arrive at a blatant break.

July 1, 2020 (change July 2, 2020 | 12:09)

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