Meloni thwarts Conte and Schlein’s ambush: back and forth in the Chamber

During question time in the Chamber, the prelude to the confrontation that we may see in the European elections if Meloni, Schlein and Conte decide to run was on stage. An appointment that the M5S leader and the Democratic Party secretary appear to have prepared together. In the Chamber, the two do not see each other from the beginning, they arrive at the third question, Schlein in a pinstripe jacket and Conte in his usual impeccable attire of jacket and tie. The people’s defender first asks for a glass of water and then waits for the intervention of the leader of the group Francesco Silvestri who attacks Meloni over the Stability Pact.

The refrain is always the same: if Meloni can spend Pnrr’s money it’s because Conte, as prime minister, brought it to Italy. The M5S «is not satisfied with the fact that a prime minister can spend more time talking about Ferragni’s pandors than about one of the main agreements that will regulate the choices that will be made in this country», asks Silvestri ironically. Words to which Meloni responds by explaining how the numbers of the new Stability Pact are sustainable “for a serious government” while more difficult “would be for a government that increased public debt by 250 billion in less than three years”. For the Prime Minister, this was the best possible agreement under certain conditions also because “when you come to the negotiating table with a deficit of 5.3% and explain that you would need greater flexibility, it is possible that someone will look at you with mistrust» especially if that deficit was for the “free renovation of second and third homes”. Conte, however, is not in favor and responds by talking about “a stability package that foresees a cut of 12 billion per year”.

Billions that, for Conte, “will mean new taxes, cuts in Italian salaries, cuts in healthcare, cuts in pensions”. Then he takes a stone out of his shoe. In recent months, Meloni has repeatedly defined Superbonus as “the biggest fraud against the State”. And so Conte ends his speech by accusing the Prime Minister that “the biggest fraud of the century is that false program that you presented to voters. Think about it, she introduced herself, goes to Europe and comes back with Italy on its knees. He wanted to help retired people and we are in a worse situation, he wanted naval blockades and we are experiencing a record number of landings. Patriot that he is, he sold ITA to the Germans and sold shares in the Post Office and Railways. Applause from the benches of the 5 Star Movement and the Democratic Party, Meloni remains impassive, occasionally exchanging a few words with Minister Urso sitting to his right. Schlein does not applaud or look at Conte during his speech, he spends most of his time writing. She waits for her turn, before her are the interventions of Maria Elena Boschi from Italia Viva and Manlio Messina from Fratelli d’Italia. When it’s her turn, she begins by citing a story that “particularly hit her.” Her tone is calm and her voice is controlled. «Some time ago I was struck by a message I received from a woman whose mother, an oncology and cardiology patient, had an appointment scheduled for 2026. She doesn’t even know if she will get there». Public health. Schlein decided a long time ago that this will be the “delicate point” to be addressed throughout the European election campaign. And so he attacks the government guilty of having “forgotten the heroes of the pandemic” who are now forced to “exhausting shifts”.

Then she turns directly to Meloni, who is watching her from the government bench. «How do you plan, President, to break the waiting lists, asking them to work even more, or fill the holes by hiring temporary workers or symbolic operators who work paid by the hour? The only way to reduce waiting lists is to release the hiring cap, a rule that is obsolete and stagnant at 2004 levels.” Then he puts his hands forward. «And don’t answer me, as always, “but you could have done that.” Not only and not so much because I haven’t been in the Government yet, but because you’ve been in the Government for 16 months and Italy has been waiting for hours for answers.” Meloni satisfies her. «I’m not going to tell her “why didn’t you do it”. I will tell you, colleague Schlein, that I consider it an implicit demonstration of esteem that you ask us today to solve all the problems that you did not resolve in the 10 years you were in government.” Then remember how this executive, in the figure of Health Minister Orazio Schillaci , immediately took up the dossier to try to resolve the old issue of paying doctors who cost too much to the State coffers. In response, the Democrat loses her calm as she had just before: “I was more delicate than her, I didn’t mention the year in which that bill was approved spending cap”.

What year was it? 2009 and “do you know who was a minister in that government? She.” Schlein certainly took the opportunity to have a better final answer than Conte. But there are some important communication errors. Public health suffered a total cut of 37 billion euros between 2010 and 2020. Of the seven governments that alternated in this period, the Democratic Party was in government 4 times. Schlein, however, likes to repeat that she was not there. If the secretary does not recognize the political legacy of her party she is throwing away everything that came before her. What she communicates is that this is not the Democratic Party, the famous plural party that all Democrats boast about, but it is the Democratic Party of Elly Schlein that repudiates all previous developments. The Democrats, however, are grateful, but the news is that the applause is also come from the benches of the 5 Star Movement. A circumstance that reporters point out to Schlein, which she appreciates and reciprocates: «He made a good intervention. He did well in pressing the issue of the Stability Pact.” The feeling, however, is clear. If the two opposition leaders thought they were setting a double trap for Meloni, they were disappointed. A prelude to what we will see in the election campaign?

Source: IL Tempo