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How Atlanticism is splitting Italian politics

Atlanticism wins in Italy as Parliament approves key resolution for sending weapon to Ukraine. In the meantime the Atlantic trench divides the Five Star Movement as former leader and Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio leaves the party

After intense negotiations within the majority-ruling parties, the Italian Parliament has authorized a support package for Ukraine, including military aid. “The mandate received from parliament is to seek peace, overcome the crisis,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said. But the vote signaled a rupture within the 5-Star Movement: on one side Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, the party’s former leader, supporting the choice for Atlanticism, on the opposing side ex Premier Giuseppe Conte, current leader of the 5-Star.

Maintaining promises. PM Draghi, heading to an intense international set of summits, including the European Council, the G7, and the NATO summit, said that “the Italian government intends to keep supporting Ukraine.”

  • Mr Draghi will use the resolution in parliament to “guide our actions,” including working side by side with international partners, the European Union, and the G7.
  • “We won’t stop supporting diplomacy and seeking peace,” PM Draghi said referring to Italy’s willingness to maintain all channels open, including a dialogue with Russia.

Di Maio v Conte. Some parties in Italy’s ruling coalition, above all the 5-Star Movement and the League, had said that they do not want Italy to supply any more weapons to Ukraine.

  • According to media reports, foreign minister Di Maio, who supports Mr Draghi’s plan of action for Ukraine, has signaled his willingness to quit the 5-Star Movement and launch a new parliamentary group.
  • Former PM Conte, on the other hand, has said the government should now focus on reviving peace talks rather than sending weapons, in direct opposition with the government and international partners.
  • The divisions within the ruling coalition, however, do not seem to have an impact on the survival of Draghi’s government.
  • In local elections earlier this month, the 5-Star movement suffered a blow in key constituencies, including Genoa, the city of the party’s founder Beppe Grillo.

Italians are divided. According to a recent poll by state-owned Rai1 television, about 45% of Italians are against sending weapons to Ukraine.
– According to a recent poll by the European Council f Foreign Relations (ECFR), over one-quarter of Italians blames the U.S. for the war in Ukraine.

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