Politics

Renzi versus the Senate

He wants to abolish the Senate, but the Senate could abolish him.

The Government of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi presented a Constitutional Reform Bill to transform the Senate into a Chamber of Regions with diminished powers… without having the control of the Senate, which for the time being is still required to pass any Bill.

To command a majority in the Senate, Mr Renzi’s Democratic Party must rely on the tiny New Right party, so much that it was recently forced to save one of its members from the arrest. In Italy, to arrest a senator the District Attorney’s Office must apply for a senatorial authorization: you can deny it, but it is embarrassing. The discomfort of the Democratic Party was such that its deputy-secretary Debora Serracchiani apologized to the voters.

In an attempt to beef up his number, Mr Renzi recruited a handful of Berlusconi’s senators headed by Denis Verdini, one of the Cavaliere’s lieutenants. This is embarrassing, too, since Mr Verdini has an endless list of pending criminal trials.

All this maneuvering did not save Mr Renzi from see a Government-sponsored Bill partially rejected by the Senate after the restive left wing of the Democratic Party voted against it.

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