The Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Melons began meeting with opposition parties on Tuesday, 9 May to discuss her plans for reforming the constitution and ending chronic political instabilities in the eurozone’s third-largest nation.
Italy has had 70 governments in the past, which is more than twice as many as Britain or Germany. Despite this, attempts to create a robust system have failed repeatedly due to the multitude of competing visions.
Meloni, who is about to begin talks with the major parliamentary parties, said that it was crucial to seek broad support for a change.
She said: “We see this as an important confrontation in our democracy, to approve measures which cannot be delayed.”
In 1948, Italy’s constitution included numerous checks and balanced to prevent another dictator such as Benito Mussolini gaining power.
Critics say that the system has led to a revolving-door coalition which has impacted Italy’s credibility internationally and made it difficult to pursue much needed reform.
Meloni’s right-wing party won the elections in Italy last year. She has stated that she is open to any suggestions but she has also made it clear that she wants to see a presidential system with the direct electing of a powerful leader of the state.
“I believe it’s important to have the biggest consensus possible when doing a reform of this kind.” It does not mean that we won’t do it even if there is no consensus, she told the 5-Star Movement opposition at the beginning of their meeting.
It is difficult to imagine that any change in the constitution could be made without a two thirds majority of both houses of the parliament. A referendum is required if the proposal fails to gain two-thirds support in both houses of parliament.
The last major attempt to change the system failed in 2016, when Matteo Renzi, the then Prime Minister, resigned following a referendum that rejected his plan for streamlining the parliamentary system.
Meloni’s ideas have not been well received by the Democratic Party and 5-Star in the lead-up to the Tuesday talks.
After his meeting with Meloni, Giuseppe Conte, former Prime Minister and leader of the 5-Star movement told reporters that they had not reached a consensus.
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