The return of Giuseppe Conte: why Grillo entrusted him with the project to re-establish the M5s

He had left them with a nocturnal speech in Direct Zoom to convince them of responsibility and to the support of Draghi government, comes back at the most difficult moment, when expulsions and internal wars risk shattering everything. The Yes of Giuseppe Conte a Beppe Grillo it is the first act of a radical change within the 5 stars. First, because that of the former premier is a return on the political scene, one month after the crisis caused by Matteo Renzi with the aim of making it disappear (Conte, the M5s-Pd alliance and the government) and not even three days after the professor gave his speech for a new Europe from the chair of the University of Florence. But it is above all it is an “arrival” for the M5s, joining the project at the moment its popularity reaches one of the highest peaks. There is a significant detail to consider: the lawyer has never been enrolled in the M5s (he is not yet) and until he was a Chigi Palace he avoided being dragged into the dynamics of the group as much as possible. This was not the time and it would not have been opportune in front of the allies. But now the scene is completely different: the entry of the M5s into the executive with Come on Italy it created a watershed in the history of the Movement. There is a substantial part, in many cases we are talking about the founders of the 5 stars (not only Alessandro Di Battista The Nicola Morra, but also entire groups of historical activists), who abandoned the project talking about betrayal. Grillo, never as the only director in this phase, knows that the wound is painful and unprecedented, but he is also convinced of the line chosen in the name of the “ecological transition”. And now he wants to put in place the second phase of the process: to completely re-establish a Movement that seems increasingly tired and on the verge of imploding. Is it possible or is it just a dream? It is too early to say, it is certain that in order to have a chance he must necessarily resort to his strongest card: the leadership of Giuseppe Conte. Torn off Yes, the imperative is hurry up: the more time passes, the more the disagreements settle and the more the influence of the former prime minister is likely to decline.

Because Grillo needs Conte – There was a crossroads that marked the history of the former Prime Minister. Shortly after his resignation, the failed search for those responsible in Parliament, he presented himself in front of Palazzo Chigi. And in that speech, the one we all remember now for the image of the banquet in the middle of the street with the microphones on it, he made a choice: he did not argue with the stabber Matteo Renzi and did not ride the demands of return to the polls. Indeed, a few days later, he presented himself on Zoom, the assembly of M5s parliamentarians, and asked “not to turn your back on the country”. An exit that has consecrated him to the eyes of Italians as the victim of a palace maneuver and that has contributed to increasing the consensus even more. From there followed: the video of the applause of Chigi employees and the farewell post with over a million likes. A popularity that now, the 5 star movement, can not afford to waste. Because if there is someone who can revive the fate of the political project of Beppe Grillo, at the moment it is only the former premier. The founder knows it well, who witnesses the expulsions and leaks of his own, with the birth of ever new internal currents, and with difficulty manages to keep his creature on its feet. Grillo had long since stepped aside from the political scene, but he never broke off relations with Conte. A thread that, in fact, has never stopped. Without forgetting that there was a moment that he linked the former premier inextricably to the founder of the Movement: when, in full crisis of Conte 1 and while Di Maio was ready to ask for the head of the premier, Grillo publicly armored him with a post that proved decisive. The rest is the history of the Giallorossi government.

The effects of Conte’s return on the government and the expelled. And on the federation project – Conte’s political return will certainly have a backlash inside and outside the M5s. First of all, because a new perspective is opening up for the Movement and, above all, a horizon of growth that until now seemed unthinkable. Also in this sense we must read the reference, in the note from sources close to Conte, to what is defined as a necessary ever “greater openness to civil society“. The figure of the former premier, for now, enjoys an attractive force (even beyond the perimeter of the 5 stars) and that strength can be functional for the M5s. But in what field? At the moment there are many questions and few answers. The pillars listed in these hours are those of the origins of the Movement: certainly the ecological transition wanted by Grillo, then legality (and fight against corruption) and battles against caste and inequalities. Of course no one has forgotten the interview with Luigi Di Maio a Repubblica a few days ago when he defined the Movement as a “liberal and democratic force”, so in repositioning a lot can happen.

Conte’s attraction is valid for new elements, but also for those who have decided to leave the Movement. It is certainly a very complicated process. Going backwards is not so easy for those like Di Battista or Morra, but also Barbara Lezzi and Alessio Villarosa, saw in the Yes to Draghi a betrayal of everything they have always believed. However, a central theme remains: these are parliamentarians who have made the history of the 5-star Movement, reference figures without whom the M5s would not be where it is now, and in a re-foundation phase they could be very useful. However, if this is the most complex chapter, the fact remains that Conte’s presence will certainly have an effect on the holding of parliamentary groups. And more compact parliamentary groups, especially because they see an idea of ​​a future project, also means more weight in the balance of the Draghi government. The 36 expulsions on the eve of the appointments of the undersecretaries did not help anyone and never as at that stage was it clear that the strong voice of a leader is needed to count at the executive table.

The last question, which cannot be answered at the moment, concerns the future of the da project federator of the Pd-M5s-Leu coalition. What seemed to be the solution most invoked by former allies, has cooled down a lot at the moment. And Conte, this has been the reasoning of the last few hours, risks burning the moment of popularity behind the project of a coalition that may never see the light. Of course, one point remains: in his speech at the University of Florence last Friday, the former premier spoke of his pro-European manifesto and set very ambitious goals for politics. Or rather to himself. Goals that certainly go beyond the guidance of the M5s.

What will happen to the committee at 5 – Conte looks very far ahead, this is nothing new. But if he has to re-establish the 5 stars, he will also have to look inside: from the expulsion node to that of the new chain of command. The latter, most likely, will be solved with a lightning passage on the Rousseau platform, but which will leave traces in the history of internal participation. Not even two weeks ago, in fact, there was an online vote to change the statute: that change eliminated the figure of the political leader and approved the creation of a committee of 5 members in office for three years. This change did not come easily: it took more than a year of internal discussions, between assemblies and meetings, and above all a long regency in the hands of Vito Crimi. Now that committee will have to decide what to do with it: it could remain as political secretariat flanked by Conte, for example. But the former premier, as he has already said, will want to have a say on the composition. Of course, blowing up or weakening the committee is not just a matter of internal debate or a simple technicality. For the Movement that did not want to be a party, the discussion on the structure is very delicate and risks opening up other clashes (the deputy Luigi Gallo on the return of the man alone in command has already been criticized).

Here, precisely in relations with any political secretariat or in any case with the various exponents of the Movement, the former premier will now have to try his hand. He will do it for the first time not as prime minister who holds a government, but as a political exponent who has to deal with currents and dynamics that have been dragging on for years. In his latest speech a Italy 5 stars in Naples, the last demonstration in the square of 2019, from the stage pronounced a sentence that concerned the Giallorossi government, but which also goes well with the new phase: “The credibility of this government depends on our commitment, but also on your support“. In short, Conte is very clear that you cannot enter the M5s without considering that base that was there first of all and of all. And this too he will have to evaluate in the project of refounding the Movement.

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