“Sovereignty Belongs to the People”

Matteo Salvini has resigned as Interior Minister of Italy, and a new government will be formed, a coalition between the populist 5-Star Movement (M5S) and the leftist Partito Democratico (PD).

Mr. Salvini initiated the current political crisis by calling for a no-confidence vote in the government in which he served, the coalition between the Lega (his party) and the M5S. Either he miscalculated, thinking that his move would result in new elections (which the Lega would almost certainly win), or he was making a strategic move, expecting a landslide for his party in a future election.

The former seems the most likely explanation. His reactions since the M5S and the PD came to terms seem those of a man who was both surprised and dismayed by what happened. However, that may have simply been theater on his part — the outcome may be exactly what he had been expecting all along.

There’s no doubt that he’s right about the influence of Brussels in the formation of the M5S-PD coalition. The mandarins of the EU may not have created the coalition, but I’m certain that they lobbied for it.

The new government will be staffed by a set of unlikely bedfellows. To put it in an American context: it’s as if Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders had formed a working alliance. The new cabinet will be as unstable as an atom of francium-223.

The two videos below show the reactions of Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni (leader of the Fratelli d’Italia, and a natural ally of the Lega). Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling.

Mr. Salvini’s response:

Ms. Meloni’s response:

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has expressed his continuing support for Matteo Salvini via an official letter. Below is the English announcement and content of the letter as published on the official website of the Hungarian Government (hat tip László):

Viktor Orbán’s message to Matteo Salvini: regardless of political developments, we look upon you as a brother-in-arms

August 29, 2019

At noon on Thursday Bertalan Havasi, the Prime Minister’s press chief, informed the Hungarian news agency MTI that Prime Minister and President of Fidesz Viktor Orbán has written a letter to Matteo Salvini — the leader of the Italian party Lega, and until today a member of Italy’s government. In his letter Mr. Orbán expressed his appreciation and gratitude for the work recently done by Mr. Salvini for Italy and the whole of Europe, including Hungary. Mr. Orbán wrote, “I wish to assure you that we Hungarians will never forget that you were the first Western European leader who sought to stop the influx of illegal migrants into Europe across the Mediterranean.”

In his letter to Mr. Salvini, the Hungarian prime minister continued: “Regardless of internal political developments in Italy and the fact that we belong to different European party families, we look upon you as a brother-in-arms in our battles for the preservation of European Christian heritage and the halting of migration. I wish you much success and good health in carrying out your future tasks.”

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)

See also a copy of the original letter posted on Facebook by a Hungarian minister, Katalin Novák.

Video transcript #1:

00:22   Here we are. Following the expected rituals,
00:26   we have quickly,
00:30   precisely, and directly, honest all the way,
00:36   spoken with the president of the Republic, to whom we have expressed
00:40   the discord…
00:43   not of the Lega [League], but of millions
00:46   of Italians in the face of the unseemly theatrical show
00:50   in the “war of the armchairs”,
00:53   which has been playing out for days.
02:25   All the elections in recent years have seen a single party
02:28   systematically lose — the Democrat Party (PD).
02:31   Friuli, Venice, Giulia, Piedmont, Trento, Bolzano,
02:38   Abruzzo, Molise, Basilicata, Sardinia,
02:43   political elections (national) and European elections. Millions of Italians
02:47   will be asking themselves, what use is it voting if those who we send home
02:51   in the elections, come back through the window through palace intrigues?
02:56   Dignity demands that there are elections.
03:00   There should be a beautiful word in democracy — elections.
03:05   Sovereignty belongs to the people.
03:09   Evidently, those who fear the vote can escape for a month,
03:13   six months, a year. They cannot escape forever.
06:11   We have the impression, if not the certainty, that there is
06:15   a design that comes from afar,
06:19   that does not come from Italy, that has the idea of selling off the country, the businesses,
06:25   the future of this country, to powers that are not in Italy,
06:31   and we have the impression that it would be a lack of respect
06:35   for the Italian people, so we ask why many Italians
06:39   lose the desire to go and vote.
 

Video transcript #2:

00:02   Good day.
00:11   So, good day to all. The delegation of Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) met
00:15   with President Mattarella. In this brief, frank
00:19   meeting, we confirmed (our)
00:24   clear and simple position:
00:28   For us, for Fratelli d’Italia, the only possible way out
00:32   of this government crisis is the immediate dissolution of Parliament
00:36   and a return to the ballot box.
00:41   We have asked President Mattarella to evaluate this eventuality
00:44   also in the case in which
00:49   the 5-Star Movement and Democrat party confirmed
00:52   their desire to proceed towards
00:56   the “armchair pact” that they are putting together at this time.
01:23   A government born with the declared objective
01:28   of bypassing democracy, that is to impede
01:32   someone else from winning the elections, and therefore to impede
01:36   the Italians from voting, is the farthest thing that I know
01:40   from Article One of the Constitution.
01:43   A government born with the objective of doing exactly the opposite
01:47   of what the Italian people have already
01:50   asked for, in all the elections:
01:54   a stop to immigration, a cut in taxes, respect for Italy in
01:58   international relations in European seats [of government],
02:02   defense of our companies, of our work.
02:06   A government born to do… exactly the opposite of this is a fraud
02:11   against the citizens, against the Italians.
05:51   We will take to the streets if this government were to be born.
05:55   We now invite the Italian people to protest with us…
 

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