Political Environment in Italy
The government of Italy is a democratic republic established by the 1946 constitution. It is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system. There are three main arms of power in Italy: executive, legislative, and juridical. The executive power lies in the hands of the Council of the Ministers, presided over by the Prime Minister. The legislative power belongs to Parliament, whose main job is to make laws. In addition, Parliament can also make amendments to the constitution and is responsible for guiding the government. The judiciary power lies in the hand of the judges, who are responsible for implementing the laws passed by parliament. However, it is interesting to note that the president is not elected by the people but rather through the secret ballot by parliament and regional representatives.
Italy has gone through several political crisis since the formation of its constitution. Once in every two years, a change of government takes place. In the early 1990s, Italy’s political landscape underwent a huge shift when operation ‘mani pulite’ (clean hands) was launched which exposed corruption in politics and big businesses. As several politicians and businessmen were investigated, it was hoped to bring a reform in the political culture. Unfortunately, Silvio Berlusconi, a millionaire businessman having records of corruption affairs and scandal came to dominate the new political landscape. As a leader of the centre right, he emphasized on cleaning away the communist political parties.
Between 1992 and 1997, The Christian Democratic Party was dissolved and new political parties evolved such as the Italian People's Party, Christian Democratic Center and other democratic parties.
In 2013, the constitutional court observed limitations in the election process of the parliament, thereby stating that the Italian Parliament must only be in charge of reforming the political system and then dissolve.
In the recent times, populist parties have been running the politics by forming a coalition government in 2018. However, in August 2019, the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini called for new elections as he wanted to break coalition with the Five Star Movement, and have a new government wherein full powers reside with him. However, his agenda failed as he did not receive support from most Italians. Even the President of the United States – Donald Trump – chose to support Giuseppe Conte over Salvini.
Currently, the political ecosystem is led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and President Sergio Mattarella both of whom are now pro-EU rhetoric and support Italy’s fiscal stability. Lately, the finance minister Roberto Gualtieri has shown interest in having fruitful dialogue with European Union in order to recover the diminishing current economy of Italy.