Renzi favored by balkanized opposition

Despite all the polls certifying a marked fall in his consent, the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will, according to his own slogan, “keep calm”.

The opposition is just 2 points below his party in the polls, but it is made harmless by a diaspora of different parties: Left Ecology and Freedom, which could greet some disaffected Renzi’s MPs; the New Right, which is currently supporting Mr Renzi’s Government but probably will not in the next general election; the maverick and unpredictable Five Stars Movement; the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy, which are both anti-EU and anti-immigration; and finally Mr Berlusconi’s party.

Of this phalanx of parties, only the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy could form an alliance as well as, in a more remote scenario, Mr Berlusconi’s Go Italy party and the New Right.

Mr Berlusconi himself is a further source of uncertainty in this chaos, since he looks like an ally of Mr Renzi rather than a competitor. This could have various reasons. He could see in Mr Renzi the man who killed the traditional Italian left adopting a more business friendly approach. He could fear reprisals by the Government against his business empire which is not faring too well. Or finally he could hope in a judicial and political rehabilitation which could allow him to run again. In this last case, his cooperation with Mr Renzi would be only temporary.



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