Will Renzi be stronger or weaker under Mattarella?

The new Italian President Sergio Mattarella in his uniform of constitutional judge.

 The election of the new Italian President Sergio Mattarella was hailed by  the press as a resounding victory of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi since he  was able to win back the internal opposition within his Party as well as crush the  resistance by Mr Berlusconi and by his own Minister of the Interior Angelino  Alfano.

 In Italy politics are often analysed like fooball matches with a clear  winner and a clear loser, but the reality is more complicated.

 The informal alliance between Mr Renzi and Mr Berlusconi is problably  over. What was already agreed in terms of constitutional and electoral  reforms could be enforced, but it is unlikely that there will be new pacts.

 This will leave Mr Renzi at the mercy of the left wing of his party -which is  against many of his policies- and of Mr Alfano’s tiny party; the latter could  be looking for revenge after having been humiliated in the presidential  vote.

Moreover, Mr Mattarella is a former constitutional judge known for his strict legalism, and he could refuse to sanction some acts by Mr Renzi’s Government.

Finally, Mr Renzi can’t ask the new President to dissolve the Parliament in the case of a mutiny, because pursuant to the agreements with Mr Berlusconi the new electoral law will enter into force only in 2016.


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