"I ask the Italians for all power" TIME ONLINE

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Italy has experienced countless government crises since the end of the Second World War
and experienced 65 governments. But there has never been a government crisis in the summer. Mid August
The Italians traditionally go on holiday.
Ferragosto
is inviolable,
normal. But Italy is going through extraordinary times and that is why there is one
Government crisis, perhaps even a government fall in the middle of the summer.

Matteo Salvini is responsible for this. The minister of the Interior and leader of the Lega wants to force a vote of no confidence against his own prime minister, Giuseppe Conte. If Conte crashes, the fragile coalition of left and right populists would have lasted only 14 months. Since June 2018, the Lega and the Five Stars have ruled together over Italy (see box). Next week Parliament will meet for a special session. Salvini already hopes in October that new elections can come. He wants to become prime minister himself.

All this week the delegates of the holiday had to go back to Rome. The Italian newspapers were happy to publish photos of politicians who came from the beach or mountains to the capital, casually dressed, tanned. Salvini had said a few days earlier in his typically brutal language:
"Ferragosto?
The delegates must move their asses please! "

He already campaigned on the beach or better: on the beaches of Italy. As soon as he had caused the government crisis, he went on his beach tour. He wants to ride along the coasts of Italy once. He pays special attention to the south, where his party is not as strong as in the north, where it is in part more than 50 percent in the current surveys. Salvini still expects growth in the south. That's why he swims in the sea there, canoeing, presenting his naked torso on the beach surrounded by fans and spectators.

He is not as athletic as his political role model, Russian President Vladimir Putin, but even from his feeling, Salvini makes a virtue. He proudly says: "I don't go to the gym and when I see a cream-filled croissant, I grab it." I am, this is the Salvinis message, one of you – with all its weaknesses and strengths.

To understand why more and more Italians are supporting the radical right-wing Lega, one must look at the Salvini phenomenon. He makes politics with full physical effort, nothing seems to embarrass him, he is constantly on the move. And as the leader of the Lega appears, his opponents look even more forfeited.

In fact, the representatives of the other parties are clearly struggling in this time of crisis. They put their heads together in the chambers of Parliament, give endless advice and then speak in tortuous sentences that a non-politician can hardly understand. But with that they convey the implied message of Salvini: the others meet in gloomy back rooms, while I am with you, in the bright daylight; the others mutter while I openly know my intentions. The day after he triggered the government crisis, Salvini said, "I ask the Italians for all power!"

Do you have to admit to Salvini and hold elections as soon as possible? Or should one try to find another ruling majority, such as the five-star union and social democrats? The approval of the new budget must take place in the autumn; this budget, outside Italy, is of great importance for the entire euro area; After all, Salvinis Lega is in the polls between 36 and 40 percent. Is it better to play ahead of time or to enforce a quick decision? Does the populist wave break if someone holds Salvini for a while at the gates of power, or does it just keep swelling? Salvinis competitors disagree. For the Social Democrats, the dispute could even lead to a division of the party.

(TagToTranslate) Politics (t) Matteo Salvini (t) Italy (t) Matteo Salvini (t) Populism (t) Fascism (t) Giuseppe Conte (t) Silvio Berlusconi (t) World War II (t) Government crisis (t) Lega north