Von der Leyen Vote for EU Commission President Could Cause Italian Government To Fall
July 18, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Five Star Movement (M5S) vote that has ensured the European Parliament election of Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen as EU Commission president has created a crisis in the Italian government coalition, with the Lega accusing the Five Stars of conspiring for regime change. Lega head and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has declared that he has “lost confidence” in his partner, deputy Prime Minister and Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio.
The Lega is accusing the Five Stars of plotting to dump the Lega and form a government with the Democratic Party (PD). “The PD and the M5S have been already in the government together for two days, in Strasbourg,” Salvini declared, referring to the fact that the M5S voted together with the PD in a quid pro quo in which the M5S was given a deputy chairman post at the European Parliament by its President Davide Sassoli, a PD member.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte yesterday defended the M5S vote, saying that he had agreed with Merkel and Macron to support von der Leyen in exchange for a “heavy” post on the Commission for Italy. He then hinted that, contrary to previous deals among government coalition partners, the post won’t go to the Lega now. This was confirmed when the candidate, Lega member and cabinet minister Giancarlo Giorgetti officially renounced his candidacy.
Von der Leyen herself, in an interview with several European newspapers, said that governments can legitimately propose nominations, but that she makes the final decision.
The Lega also suspects that the so-called “Russiagate” against Salvini was timed with the Euro Parliament vote/negotiations and that Macron/Merkel are behind it (see below).