Back at it. Giuseppe Conte, leader of the Five Star Movement, made a decisive anti-war speech during the consultation rounds hosted by President Sergio Mattarella regarding the formation of the new centre-right government. “The outgoing government did not even accept a parliamentary confrontation” on sending arms to Ukraine, he said.
- Reality check: not only was the 5SM part of Mario Draghi’s government, it also voted for the decree that allowed it to send weapons to Ukraine without asking for Parliament’s authorisation each time.
- Mr Conte and the 5SM are now bound to become part of the opposition, but won’t lead it. That onus, as things stand today, falls onto the Democratic Party.
He supports negotiations, but not arming the resistance. “Our position is clear: we feel that peace negotiations are needed at this time,” continued Mr Conte. “Countries like the US continue to supply the Ukrainians […] I don’t think this is the priority.”
- Asked if the 5SM would vote against sending arms to Kyiv, he replied sharply that “it is no longer necessary for Italy to send arms.”
Some brand of pacifism. Mr Conte’s stance against sending military aid to Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion is nothing new. But this time, it was officially and indisputably reiterated at the presidential palace, the Quirinal, and directed at President Mattarella.
- This is a fundamental element, which – by virtue of contrast – highlights the importance that the government majority led by Giorgia Meloni, leader of Brothers of Italy and prospective PM, place on supporting Ukraine.