Mes, Conte and Meloni before the Honorary Jury on 18 and 19 January

Hearing dates have been set

The dates of the hearings of Giuseppe Conte and Giorgia Meloni before the honorary jury established by the President of the Chamber at the request of the president of the 5 Star Movement to establish whether, as claimed by Conte, the Prime Minister “lied to Parliament” during the assembly sitting on 12 December 2023.

The fax fight, what happened?

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) sparked the conflict between Meloni and Conte, with the Prime Minister accusing the Conte government of having “before unpacking” a “package to the next government”. And showing in the Senate the fax sent to the then representative Massari by Luigi Di Maio in which he authorized him to sign the ESM, he attacked: “The Conte government secretly, under cover of darkness, gave its consent to the ESM” and he did so “the day after the resignation of the Conte government, when he was only in office for current affairs”.

Giuseppe Conte’s reaction arrived shortly after, replying in a video on social media by waving another document: “Do you know who introduced the ESM into Italy? That is, who brought Italy into the ESM? Berlusconi’s government in 2011, this is the document that proves it. Carta canta, Giorgia Meloni you were also part of that government as Minister of Youth in addition to La Russa, Fitto, Calderoli” Conte had said, recalling “that I did not activate the ESM, despite the pandemic”. But according to Conte, the war of cards was not enough to “re-establish the truth of the facts”.

Conte’s request

For this reason, on 18 December he wrote to the president of the Chamber Fontana asking that the Honorary Jury be established to “restore the honor undermined by the lying behavior of President Meloni” who, as Conte accused, “chose to lie to the Parliament and all citizens, claiming that my government had given the green light to the ESM in January 2021, without a parliamentary mandate and under the cover of darkness, it would have done so when it had already resigned, with the boxes ready. Meloni knowingly lied of lying, she was a deputy when on 9 December 2020 in Parliament – reconstructs the M5S leader – we held a broad debate on the ESM, also certified by the documents”. Therefore, Conte’s accusation from the Prime Minister is “a heap of falsehoods, which dishonors the highest government institution”.

What is the Honorary Jury

As stated on the Chamber’s website, the president of Montecitorio “may appoint, at the request of a deputy who feels his honor has been damaged by accusations made against him during a discussion, an investigative commission pursuant to the art. 58 of the regulation – called the Honorary Jury – which evaluates the validity of the accusations”. In this specific case, these are Meloni’s statements relating to the ESM. “The Jury is usually assigned a deadline to report to the Assembly on the results of its activity. The Assembly simply takes note of the Jury’s report, without debate or vote”.

The verdict on February 9th

Ten days later, on December 28, the green light arrived. The jury is established, chaired by Giorgio Mulè (Fi) and composed of deputies Fabrizio Cecchetti (Lega), Filiberto Zaratti (Avs), Alessandro Colucci (Nm) and Stefano Vaccari (Pd). The verdict of the honorary jury requested by Giuseppe Conte will arrive by February 9th.