The Italian Government Crisis: The Dismantling of Democracy under Mario Draghi

Post-Democrat: Mario Draghi. Photo: Quirinale / CC0 1.0

After the “confidence agreement” failed, Italian President Draghi accepted his resignation and dissolved Parliament. Early elections are expected on September 25.

With the resignation of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who was seen abroad as a guarantor of stability, Italy took another step towards post-democracy. The country is also in a state of economic decline.

In the past twenty years, Italy has undoubtedly changed from a democratic to a post-democratic one. The slow but steady transition from an actual representative democracy to a pure fantasy has worsened the same thing in the Draghi era since February 2021: Parliament has become completely unnecessary.

Draghi has effectively ruled in contempt of Parliament, which is not improved by the fact that Parliament has blatantly allowed itself to be disregarded.

There is no longer any question about political participation – and often during his tenure, Draghi and his inner circle of ministers simply made important decisions on their own, ignoring everyone else, in order to then confront Parliament with a fait accompli. Democratic forms were preserved, but democratic matter was eliminated.

The decisions that Parliament was only allowed to approve after that are the PNRR (Plan for National Recovery and Resilience), the budget and the historic agreement with France, which are intended to strengthen cooperation and include, for example, ministers from both countries regularly attending other government meetings.

Consistently as a post-democracy

Another aspect of post-democracy (unless one is satisfied with a purely procedural view of democracy) is the appointment of Draghi as Prime Minister, which has not been legitimized through elections.

So Draghi’s lack of interest in the parliamentary function is obvious, but with the delegitimization of representative democracy in Parliament is also abolished.

Italy is in a very difficult economic situation, not least because of the wrong decisions of the Draghi government. This also includes the path of unrestricted loyalty to the NATO alliance and support for Ukraine, although in all opinion polls the population spoke with a large majority against the direct or indirect participation of Italy in this war.

The same principle of undermining parliamentary consensus applies to arms deliveries and sanctions against Russia, which have proven to be counterproductive.

But this is exactly the point that Draghi addressed again in his closing address to Parliament and emphasized that Italy must continue to support Ukraine unconditionally.

As head of the European Central Bank, he was simply printing money

In his previous positions as Director General of Finance, as Governor of the Bank of Italy and President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Draghi made anti-people decisions that particularly affected the financially weaker sections of the population.

For example, printing trillions of euros to buy government bonds and push yields below zero. Hence, he followed a harsh liquidity policy to support the government deficit, and the result was continuous inflation and a collapse in the government bond market.

Recently, riders canceled the Superbonus 110 without further ado – the program by which every homeowner can refurbish their property at no cost and have the costs reimbursed by the state in the form of a tax credit.

The program has been one of the few flywheels in the Italian economy in recent years. Its cancellation canceled many companies in deep crisis.

On Wednesday, non-partisan economist Draghi failed to achieve his goal of forming a new “pact of confidence” with his ruling parties. Neither the Five Star Movement nor Forza Italia and Lega voted in the vote of confidence.

President Sergio Mattarella Draghi accepted his resignation on Thursday. New elections are expected on September 25. For now, she added, the government will remain in office for the time being.

After many years of delegitimizing the parliamentary, liberal and democratic system, Draghi left behind a country with major economic problems.
(Jenny Perelli)

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