Salvini and Meloni present us with the pantomime of the united centre-right: but they are more distant than ever

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Salvini and Meloni present us with the pantomime of the united centre-right: but they are more distant than ever

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Hugged on stage at the closing rally of the electoral campaign in Sardinia. Thus the leaders of the center-right posed for photographers on Wednesday evening, in the last electoral event in support of the coalition candidate, Paolo Truzzu , who is running for the Regional elections on Sunday 25 February. But the truce, if it could be called that, lasted not even 24 hours.

Wall against wall on the third term

Yesterday the solid unity of the centre-right dissolved in the face of the evidence of the votes in Parliament, and clashed over the latest of the many dossiers that have been troubling the sleep of Salvini and Meloni in recent weeks, despite the fact that they publicly try to minimize and declassify the tensions with imaginative journalistic constructions: the League's amendment on the third mandate was rejected in commission, and those who voted against it were Pd, M5s, Avs, FdI, Forza Italia . Together with the League, only Italia viva voted yes. A completely predictable outcome, after the League had refused to withdraw the amendment on the governors (yesterday morning it had only withdrawn the one on the third mandate for the mayors of large cities), and after a tug-of-war between Meloni and Salvini which is going going on for more than a month, and which is destined to continue.

“It will be discussed in the Chamber of Parliament,” Salvini promised after the vote. Senator Paolo Tosato's tone was even more emphatic: “For us the game is not over. We continue to believe that the choice or rejection of a representative of the people, at every level, must pass through the vote of the citizens and not through a decision of the parties”. In short, the issue has not been resolved , and the Northern League does not intend to retreat, especially because at stake is Luca Zaia's re-candidacy in Veneto, a region that the League does not want to cede to Meloni and his man, Senator Luca De Carlo , who is regional coordinator of Fratelli d'Italia.

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But there would also be another reason why Meloni is absolutely against removing the cap on the two mandates: allowing governors to run for the third time would also mean paving the way for a re-nomination of Vincenzo De Luca and Michele Emiliano, two strong figures which could risk compromising the centre-right's victory in Campania and Puglia .

At this point, the affectionate phrases addressed by Salvini to the prime minister the other evening on stage in Cagliari sound even less credible: “The more they try to push me and Giorgia away, the more we move forward together as one person, for five years and not a minute less The more they try to make us argue, the more they cement what is not just a political alliance, because in Giorgia I found not only an excellent Prime Minister but a friend, and in politics this makes the difference.” And it's also hard to believe the Prime Minister's version of her relationship with her ally: “I read the reconstructions and have fun like crazy and exchange amusing text messages with those I would be insulting myself with.”

Given that the European elections are voted with the proportional system, and therefore each political force campaigns for itself and against everyone and it is important to differentiate itself on themes and priorities , the cracks are destined to grow longer, as will the list of critical issues and unresolved issues. And the electoral campaign is only just beginning. Whether they will be able to pick up the pieces in the end and glue them back together the day after the vote to govern together is too early to say. But what is certain is that the next few months will not be full of harmony for the Prime Minister and her majority.

After all, we have already seen it during the farmers' protests, when the leader of the League, to ingratiate himself with the tractors, openly lashed out against the government (as if he himself were not part of it), saying that he should have done more. An appetizer of what we will see between now and June.

A month of attacks: this is how Salvini wants to wear out Meloni

At this point, mutual tripping and retaliation are not excluded on two crucial reforms for the League and the Fdi, namely differentiated autonomy and the premiership , two reforms that will occupy the political debate in the coming months of the electoral campaign.

In mid-February, the League's warning to Meloni had already arrived on the third mandate, from the Northern League member Rixi: “We are pursuing this request for the third mandate, but the reasoning is always overall and also applies to the premiership. Otherwise we will also decide how behave on that issue.” Practically blackmail , which Meloni tried to defuse last night with the logic of coherence, stating that he was in favor of “the constraint of two mandates” for the prime minister, hoping for “a rule that applies to everyone”, for mayors and governors.

Will this be enough to calm the Northern League's resentment? Difficult. Let's not forget, among other things, that Matteo Salvini had already had to swallow the bitter pill of the candidacy in Sardinia , when he was forced to give in on the re-election of the outgoing Christian Solinas. And someone within Fdi now hypothesizes that the Northern League now wants to take revenge, and that the Sardinian Northern League supporters may desert the polls in Sardinia, to settle the score.

Meloni's fool on Navalny

Meloni too, for her part, is increasingly irritated, having had to manage the global fool to which the League's statements on Navalny have exposed her, first those of deputy secretary Crippa and then those of Salvini himself, who up to now has always expressed his doubts about the real responsibility for the death of the 47-year-old dissident. The clarification that the two would have had on Wednesday on the flight to Sardinia was evidently not sufficient, according to the statements released yesterday to our microphones by the undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council Giovanbattista Fazzolari (Fdi), who once again affirmed the position: “The Putin's responsibility is clear, if Navalny had not been imprisoned he would be alive. There is no doubt. He died because he was imprisoned and he should not have been in prison, he should not have been held in inhumane conditions. He is a person who was killed by the regime Putinian”.

Even if Fazzolari denied that the executive is in difficulty at an international level due to Salvini's positions on Putin and Navalny, saying that only the votes in Parliament count, the political message is clear: the League has self-isolated on Russia, and Meloni he has no intention of tarnishing his image because of himself.

Meloni arm in arm with Schlein (and Salvini in tow)

The distances between Meloni and Salvini then became evident last week, during the vote on the war in Gaza. In that case the prime minister completely bypassed Salvini, and made a telephone agreement with the secretary of the Democratic Party Elly Schlein, ordering her followers to abstain on the dem motion on the “ceasefire”, and thus allowing the approval of an important part of the text, which commits the government “to support any initiative aimed at pursuing the unconditional release of the Israeli hostages and to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza in order to protect the safety of the civilian population of Gaza, also guaranteeing the supply of humanitarian aid continuous, rapid and safe within the Strip”.

It appears that Salvini was not even consulted (unlike Tajani who was instead notified beforehand) and the League received the team order, forced to align at the last minute on a position that it did not share. “We in the League discuss the positions of the majority within the coalition, not with phone calls to the Democratic Party”, commented the group leader Riccardo Molinari angrily. Salvini and Meloni will also be the same person, as the leader of the League says, and they will also be a “close-knit family”, as the prime minister says. But at this moment it is difficult to find a clue that could make the hoax plausible.

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Professional journalist since 2014, at Fanpage.it I mainly deal with politics and related matters. Sicilian, I left Palermo to study in Rome. Then the capital swallowed me up. After a degree in Modern Literature and in Publishing and Journalism I attended the master's degree in journalism at Lumsa University. I wrote the first articles for the publishing house's magazine 'il Palindromo'. I did internships at Repubblica.it and at the national news of TG3. I won first prize in the 'Ilaria Rambaldi' national journalistic competition with the investigation 'Journey to the petrochemical island', a work on Sicilian industrial plants located in areas at high seismic risk, published by RE Le Inchieste di Repubblica.it. As a videomaker I worked at La7, on the television program Tagadà.

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