Premier Conte: From the Amateur player to the state man


One and a half years, he was still an unknown law Professor, now he is Italy’s political Star: The amazing career of Giuseppe Conte – convincing, but without a Conviction? A portrait of Bernd Riegert.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz at the end of August, the Jura-Professor Giuseppe Conte still assumed that his second career as a politician, had begun 15 months ago, could be back by the end. “I probably won’t come again,” mumbled Conte to appropriate questions. In Rome, the government crisis was in full swing. The Five star movement, which is close to Conte, but is not a member of, rank with the social Democrats to the formation of a impossible until now held by the coalition. Giuseppe Conte was on the phone several times with the social democratic party, chief Zingaretti and convinced him to try it with him as the head of government.

The trained lawyer is able to impress with his calm nature and factual arguments. Also the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, he should have a good wire. The Italians love the 55-year-old newcomer from Puglia. According to polls, Giuseppe Conte with 58 percent approval, the second-most popular politician in Italy, after President Mattarella. The “lawyer of the people” (Conte on Conte) is displayed in comparison with the populist hot spur Matteo Salvini (Lega) and Luigi Di Maio (Five star) is sensible, calm and Mature, my commentators in Italy. Since June 2018 Conte was the face of the populist government, represented rather as a notary of the government, not as a “President of the Council of Ministers,” the shrill political projects of the two parties.

Break with Lega-chief Salvini (left to right): Conte, from kanzelt the radical Right-wing in his resignation speech in the Italian Senate

“I’m not a puppet”

He was mocked as a “Deputy” of his Deputy Prime Minister, Salvini, and Di Maio. In the European Parliament, Giuseppe Conte fought back in February, but: “I’m not a puppet. I represent my people,” countered that he critics in Strasbourg. In Italy, he remained conspicuously silent. Often one had the impression, the actual Prime Minister of the duration of the election campaign-mode, acting interior Minister, Northern League chief Matteo Salvini was. Giuseppe Conte was the right-wing Minister, grant to, ports to block, and the EU migration policy becomes. Conte even accused the EU’s “hypocrisy” and stressed with his monologues to the unfair treatment of Italy at various EU summits, the nerves of the rest of the heads of state and government.

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Formation of a new government in Italy

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Formation of a new government in Italy

Giuseppe Conte was emancipated when his first government was a failure. In his speech to the resignation, he criticised interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who was sitting next to him, sharply, and accused him of “an Obsession in the migration policy”. He threw Salvini irresponsibility, because of the economically unstable Italy need a stable government – a bit too late to change something. Then happened the Astonishing, listed on the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera”. Practically from Zero, the smart lawyer, Conte developed within a few days of a relationship with the head of the social Democrats, Nicola Zingaretti, and convinced him to try to form a coalition with the Five star movement. The two developed the formula that summarizes Conte is this: “I’m not sure that Five stars, and socialists are just the sum of its parts, but rather an alloy, a synthesis, a true coalition.”

So far, a mediator between the populists Di Maio (l.) and Salvini (r.). “I’m not a puppet”

Effortless Swivel

Without Hesitation, the sudden charm developed by Giuseppe Conte, one of the more radical right-wing policy to be swung to a left-wing Alliance. The founder of the Five star, the comedian Beppe Grillo, gave the new approach via a Blog entry of his blessing. The new coalition will be “a government without politicians,” wrote Beppe Grillo. The attorney Conte interprets this instruction Grillo so that he alone, of the “Not-going to be a politician”, the guarantor of a new Phase in Italian politics.

In recent months, Giuseppe Conte had driven his EU-sceptical statements. In discussions with the EU Commission, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron managed to Conte, to prevent an excessive deficit procedure against the highly-indebted Italy. He knows that he has to go down this path and announced, “the most important project of the next government will be the budget 2020”, the Italy back on a path of growth, jobs and investment will bring.

Sent in a circle of powerful like-minded colleagues: Conte (2.v.r.) at the G7 summit in Biarritz

Bella Figura

This is a correction of the financial and expenditure policy of the previous populist government, which he also self-Board. Conte in recent days to distance themselves elegant by themselves. “He puts a great deal of flexibility to the day. In G7 he emerged with EU-compliant statements,” says an EU Diplomat. Even the critical financial markets have developed a degree of confidence in Conte. After he had received the mandate to form a government, were the cost of Italian government bonds at a record-breaking Deep.

Of concern is close to: Conte, the President of Russia Putin the EU want to get rid of sanctions

The American President Donald Trump ennobled Conte, with the remark that he was the right man to lead Italy. Giuseppe Conte likes to tell that he had won the confidence Trumps very easy to. “Trump asked me one day where I get my suits here. I have recommended him to my Neapolitan tailor Paolo Di Fabio. Since then, we have a good relationship.”

A for EU colleagues to be suspicious of good relationship developed by Giuseppe Conte, also to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In July, a guest of state in Rome. Conte said to him, the European sanctions against Russia because of the annexation of the Crimea made him “sad”. Conte was at the time, in the spirit of right-wing and left-wing populists for an end to the sanctions, back shied away from but in front of an Italian Veto in Brussels on this issue. Which policy will continue to monitor the government, “Conte II” with a new political orientation, is still unclear. Conte will remain flexible.