President’s own knights move – understanding italian politics

I have to say that italian President, Mr. Giorgio Napolitano, sometimes amazes me. When almost everybody could see no way out from the deadlocks of italian politics nowadays, that leading to his premature resignation and to a very hot situation in three months or so. I’ve undervalued Mr. Napolitano, that was a bad mistake. He’s a strategist, kind of chess player of the italian politics. And it was the right time for a knight’s move.


Let’s see how it works. The President can’t nominate a candidate to start a new government because nobody will find a majority of the votes in the Senate (needed by italian laws). That for a sum of political vetoes between the parties that drives straight to a kind of mexican standoff. Nobody wants to step down, the only way out is to get a new round of elections and hope for the best. But in his last semester of power a President cannot do the call for new elections.

Meanwhile the whole country badly needs a government. There are a number of problems that need a fast solution and our economy is at stake. Mr. Napolitano knows for sure that all the parties are looking forward to the next round of elections, with almost nobody worried for the run-of-the-mill business that is killing more and more jobs everyday. So, here comes the knight’s move. He nominates two commissions, one for reforms and one for economics, with a direct call from his office. That put the President’s seal on them and kill any political argument about what they will tell to the Parliament.

The actual government will stay in charge for common business, the two commissions will address the Parliament with matters of national interest and the parties will do their work in both houses for a year or so, the minimum time needed to solve some problem. In the meantime Mr. Napolitano will leave office in May, leaving to the next President a more relaxed situation and a bit of time for him/her to organize his/hers seven-year mandate. Hat’s off to the President, indeed.

There’s more, a little footnote. With this kind of move the “Movimento 5 Stelle” is out of the games. They will propose whatever they like in the Parliament but their choices to get something approved are minimal. It will be quite difficult to explain to their supporters why they lose their only chance to put a real change in Italy…

2 thoughts on “President’s own knights move – understanding italian politics

  1. I was surprised by Napolitano’s choice, too – and I think a lot of the bad press he is getting from all the groups and their papers is caused by the fact that nobody saw his move coming.
    I guess that’s the difference between old school politicians and the current fast-and-loose crowd that’s supposed to run the country,

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