Italy government

The Italian government is like Schrödinger’s cat

Italian politics is in chaos, but less chaotic than it appears to a Swedish or German observer.

During a long-awaited press conference on Wednesday evening January 13, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced that the two ministers of his small neocentrist party, Italia Viva, would no longer be part of the center-left government led by Giuseppe Conte. .

According to Renzi, Conte does not respect the rules of democracy.

The move sparked outrage among the other parties in Conte’s government: the centre-left Democratic Party, the populist Five Star Movement and the small leftist LEU.

For Zingaretti, the leader of the Democratic Party, “Renzi’s decision was very harmful”.

Immediately after the press conference, Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and Giorgia Meloni’s conservative Brotherhood of Italy called for Conte’s resignation and new elections.

An election, however, is unlikely. Renzi’s decision certainly weakens Conte, but it does not necessarily mean the end of his government.

Renzi himself, during the press conference, said that he had no bias against the current prime minister, although there were other names in the hat as well.

Italy has had 10 different prime ministers in the past 20 years, a number that might seem crazy in Germany, for example, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has been in office since 2005.

But the Italian chaos had its own laws of quantum physics, according to a geopolitics commentator, who asked not to be named for professional reasons.

“Conte’s government is a kind of Schrödinger’s cat,” he said, referring to a famous paradox in theoretical physics, in which a cat in a box is both alive and dead at the same time. because of the mathematics of subatomic particles.

And for Renzi, a Conte government that is neither alive nor dead is the best thing.

If the government isn’t dead, there can’t be new elections, so Renzi doesn’t risk seeing his 48 seats in parliament go up in smoke (according to polls, his party has less than 3% support).

At the same time, if the government is not alive, Conte can no longer overshadow Renzi.

And Conte cannot become the left-wing Andreotti Italian newspapers were beginning to talk about, referring to Giulio Andreotti, a former prime minister who became a symbol of political stability in the 1970s.

Renzi’s interest is to get to July, when the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, will no longer be able to call new elections.

At this point, Renzi can encourage the creation of a new government, perhaps with himself as foreign minister.

Unless, of course, Renzi has, by then, convinced the new US administration of President-elect Joe Biden to appoint the Italian as NATO’s next secretary general, the geopolitical expert said.

The NATO post comes in 2022, when the incumbent, Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, is due to leave.

The pundit was half joking when he talked about Renzi and NATO, but personal ambition is part of quantum politics in Sweden and southern Germany.