Is Salvini playing his last card?

Is Salvini playing his last card?

By calling for a demonstration against the government of Giuseppe Conte on Tuesday June 2 in Rome and in the big cities of the Peninsula, the leader of the League is trying to slow down his fall in popularity.

He accuses the blow, “our poor Matteo” , emphasize on Twitter the supporters of the head of the League, compassionate and a little melancholy. “Coraggio, Capitano” (“Courage, Captain”), launches one. “You are running out of pot, Matteo,” hazarded another. “They’re trying to get your skin,” predicts a third. But the insults are not lacking, that the staff in charge of the system that manages its communication on social networks, nicknamed “the Bestia”, does not even manage to filter: “Buffoon! ” , ” Jackal! ” , ” Bello ciao “(” Hi handsome “). It only remains for the Italian populist leader, the sovereignist sheriff, affected by a particular delirium of omnipotence, to spread his arms as a sign of helplessness. It is not my fault, it seems to say, if I drop in the polls…

In any case, it has become a leitmotif in the analyzes of Italian journalists over the past three months: Salvini’s “loss of speed” ; the “Boss tumble”  ; the impression that he is “playing his last card” . What happened so that the man who occupied the front of the political scene of the Peninsula for two years meets such concerns of popularity?

 

Covid-19 and blunders

Because Matteo Salvini may have changed his style, put on elegant glasses, show off very classic costumes, display an unyielding graying beard, have his little paunchy belly of Mister-everyone photographed calmly, register for the program a demonstration in Rome and in the big cities of the country Tuesday June 2 (day of the feast of the Italian Republic) to try to destabilize the government of Giuseppe Conte, nothing helps. It does not go up in voting intentions: 25% maximum say the institutes in the latest surveys, against 36% in early January and 34% of the votes won in the European elections in May 2019 .

At the same time, the far-right party he is allied with, Fratelli d’Italia, is slowly nibbling on its electoral advantage. This fascist movement inherited 15% of voting intentions under the leadership of Giorgia Meloni, the Italian Navy Le Pen. How did Il Capitano get there?

First, there is the health context, which has a name: Covid-19. This cursed virus forced Matteo Salvini to interrupt his permanent electoral campaign, at the rate of two to three trips per day, throughout the territory. And since he was the only leader “from Rome” who took the trouble to listen to “the people”, “the people” readily came to his meetings to applaud him. Forcing the media to talk about him. Since mid-February, this providential mobilization has ended.

 

Worse still: the coronavirus had the audacity to strengthen the faith of the Italians in the state, as underlined the sociologist Ilvo Diamanti, who recalls that “two Italians out of three now trust Giuseppe Conte, the president of the Council of Ministers ” . They are “less afraid” and “willingly display the tricolor” . Salvini’s first enemy is therefore called Covid-19. The second is … itself.

Matteo Salvini is a master of clumsiness. A familiar with the blunder. Let us remember in August 2019 when, Minister of the Interior, he asked, certain to obtain them, “full powers” and was literally fired from the government by Conte .

Another regrettable error in evaluation: its anti-immigrant policy. It also pushed him, still in August 2019, to block for nineteen days 83 very weak migrants on the humanitarian ship “Open Arms”, off Sicily. They were saved by the prosecutor of Agrigento who landed them in Lampedusa , accusing Salvini of “failure to assist people in danger” . Result: it is the plenary assembly of the Senate which will decide in the coming weeks if the trial will take place. And this in general indifference. Because migrants are no longer the number one concern of Italians, having plummeted on the scale of concerns in favor of the epidemic and unemployment. But Matteo Salvini doesn’t seem to have noticed it yet.

 

“Sad decline”

Final error, a real alarm signal: his euroscepticism. Overtaken by the events. At the precise moment when Europe is waking up and trying to find its soul by being generous with the countries most affected by the pandemic, such as Italy and Spain. “How can he explain to the Italians his refusal of the 37 billion from the ESM [European Stability Mechanism, euro zone rescue fund set up in 2012] at 0.1% interest? And his skepticism about the 172 billion recovery fund [sum resulting from the recovery plan of 750 billion euros in grants and combined loans presented by the Commission on May 27]  ? And his isolation at the continental level, since his only interlocutor and friend is called Viktor Orbán [Hungarian Prime Minister] ? » , Automobile Antonio Padellaro éditorialiste du” Made Daily “. “Sad decline”, headlines this newspaper on Friday, May 29.

We are there, on the eve of the demonstration on June 2, which should concretize the ultimate revival strategy of Matteo Salvini. “We already know that it will be a failure,” predicts sociologist Giuliano Cazzola. It remains to be seen whether it will be a funeral. Because Il Capitano risks gathering only a few thousand fanatical Liguists completely disconnected from the mood of the average Italian, who today cares neither about migrants nor Euroscepticism but wonders how the hell to make ends meet. Povero Capitano  !

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