From former Ilva grain to European and G7, Meloni’s challenges

There are many topics and trips on the agenda for the Prime Minister

Tomorrow Giorgia Meloni will leave for Turkey, expected by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace in Istanbul for dinner: migrant dossiers, crisis in the Middle East and war in Ukraine among the courses on the menu. Afterwards, on February 1st – speaking of trips on the agenda – a decisive European Council awaits you, in which we will return to discussing the revision of the EU budget; then again on a flight to Japan, destination Tokyo, for the passing of the G7 baton with President Fumio Kishida, because in Hiroshima, last May, the ‘deliveries’ were earthquaked by the flood in Emilia Romagna, with the Prime Minister forced to anticipate the return to visit the areas devastated by the fury of the bad weather.

There will be many trips and many commitments, the multiplier effect also triggered by the presidency of the group of the Big 7 of the world. In March, although they are not yet on the agenda, visits to Canada and the States are possible for the prime minister, still in her capacity as president of the G7. And it is precisely the G7 that occupies most of the space on the Prime Minister’s desk, where however many other delicate dossiers appear: just think of the incandescent situation in Taranto, with the former Ilva that returns to take away the sleep of those called to decide their fate.

But the G7 is a card that can bring many chips to the table for Italy and Meloni’s international credibility so as not to play it to the fullest. After the G20 in Rome chaired by Mario Draghi and which marked, at least on an organizational level, an undisputed success for Italy – the ‘family photo’ of the leaders extended to doctors and nurses on the front line in the fight against Covid destined to go down in history -, the watchword at Palazzo Chigi is to give the best, not only at an organizational level but above all in terms of results, putting the migrant emergency at the center of the Italian presidency and an approach that, on this, marks the difference compared to the past, an approach embodied, for Meloni, in that Mattei Plan on which he has been working since the beginning of his mandate. And that will be at the center of the Italy-Africa conference of 28 and 29 Februaryin which the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen will also take part.

While we wait for the prime minister to lift her reservation on her possible candidacy for the European elections, in via della Scrofa and at Palazzo Chigi we look to the next electoral appointment with optimism, convinced that we can shore up the result achieved in the policies if not do better, breaking the 30% ceiling. Spending not only on future balances in Strasbourg and Brussels, but also on the Regions that will vote, overcoming the fibrillations that are accompanying the names of governors in the name of candidacy.

The Sardinian problem is more or less resolved, the first region to vote on February 25th, then it will be Abruzzo’s turn and the votes are also expected to follow in Piedmont, Umbria, Basilicata, as well as many important municipalities. How much Meloni will spend on the electoral campaign is still to be defined, she will certainly gain visibility from the many international events in sight but also from the development and cohesion agreements that are taking her around the country, alongside the governors: “we will get to all the Italian Regions”, promises the Prime Minister from her profile the necessary commitment carefully, so as not to draw energy and time from government activity.

Yet many in via della Scrofa – where they make no secret of cheering for him to take the field – remember the precedent of Silvio Berlusconi, who faced the European elections by running as Prime Minister but putting his face to it only at the last minute, for a single electoral commitment. Meloni could do the same, reduce his presence in the area to a minimum, thanks to his visibility as Prime Minister. Also because Palazzo Chigi’s agenda is undoubtedly busy, even more so with the G7 presidency to honour.

But apart from the group of the Big 7 of the world of which he took over the leadership on January 1st, there is no shortage of issues to resolve and games to advance. With all the unknowns of the case. Between these the grana seaside and street vendors -on the Rome-Brussels road- and the ‘second half’ of the reform of the European Stability Mechanism, after Italy’s niet.

The next few months should also see justice reform on the table – although the timing is still indefinite – and the premiership, for Meloni “the mother of all reforms”, moving forward along the parliamentary path, with the specter of the referendum hovering . Without forgetting the privatization chapter, with eyes on Poste, MPS and Eni, and the Ita-Lufthansa operation, still under the magnifying glass of the EU Commission. Intense months for Meloni, with all the unknowns involved.