Politics in Rome can be a real trap.
This is well known to one of Berlusconi’s allies, the Northern League. Emerged in the Nineties, it was initially a revolutionary party like the Five Stars Movement. It arrived in Rome with strong numbers. It accomplished nothing, and its electors are deserting it.
Today, the Democratic Party won its first battle in the campaign to embarrass the Five Stars Movement for its refusal to form an alliance.
The day saw the election of the President of the Senate. The Democratic Party nominated Mr Pietro Grasso, a former National Attorney Against Organized Crime.
The only alternative was Mr Berlusconi’s nominee, Mr Renato Schifani, a Sicilian suspected of connections with the organized crime.
The rules of the Five Stars Movement do not forbid to support another party ‘on single issues’. However, after a heated debate the assembly of the Movement senators decided not to vote for Mr Grasso. Since the Democratic Party does not control the Senate, there was a real risk of Mr Schifani being elected.
In the end, when the votes were counted (and Mr Grasso was elected) it became apparent that he had been supported by at least some senators of the Movement, probably the Sicilian ones.
Mr Bersani, the leader of the Democratic Party, did not hide his satisfaction, but what happened today will not help him in obtaining a confidence vote for a Government by the Five Stars Movement. Indeed, today’s trick could anger ever more the fiery Mr Grillo, who still hasn’t commented Mr Grasso’s election on his blog.
Today also the Chamber of Deputies elected its President. It is Mrs Laura Boldrini, a former spokesperson of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.