March 8, 2021

The Italian Government delves into its division at the expense of the Turin-Lyon train

The coalition in the Government of Italy, of the 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the ultra-right-wing League, deepened today in its division by voting differently on the future of the controversial train line between Turin and Lyon (France), rejected only by The first formation.

The Senate voted 6 non-binding motions on that high-speed line (TAV), one of them presented by the M5S to call on Parliament to study how to break the treaty signed with France twenty years ago on this infrastructure.

And the M5S was only voting against completing the work, although it is unknown what implications this fact will have in the future of the already worn out government coalition.

It is not a trivial issue in Italy, since the parties in the Executive maintain irreconcilable positions: the M5S grew in the heat of protests against the project, while the League, which governs much of the north, demands completion of the works.

The motion of the M5S was finally rejected by the 181 votes of its Government partner and the block opposition, all in favor of carrying out the railway section.

The intention of the anti-system formation with its motion was to demand that Parliament, using its sovereign prerogatives, study how to revoke the international treaty with France, a country that remains interested in this shared infrastructure.

But when presenting this proposal, the M5S took the opposite even to the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, who recently transferred to the European Commission his determination to continue with the work because paralyzing it would be more expensive than completing it.

For this reason, the League reproached the action of its ally in the Government. "If you are part of this government and the president says you should be in favor of the train, there are no alternatives," said the spokesman in the Senate of the far-right party, Massimiliano Romeo.

"On such an important issue, having two coalition parties that vote differently puts a clear and obvious political issue on the table: whoever votes not for TAV will assume political responsibility for whatever comes in the next few days or months." , Romeo threatened, in a speech that seemed the prelude to a crisis.

The enthusiasm especially infected the opposition, which does not see the moment in which this Government falls, and the leader of the Democratic Party (PD), Nicola Zingaretti, urged the prime minister to go before the head of state, Sergio Mattarella, to clarify this "crisis".

The leader of the M5S, Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Development and Vice President of the Government, left the Upper House without a word.

In Italy, the question that flies over is whether this vote could lead to the chaos or the end of the M5S-Liga Government just over a year after its inauguration.

And many believe that the motion of the M5S is only a "paripé" to, in some way, justify to the electorate the continuity of the work, because the rest of the parties are in favor and aborting it would be too expensive.

"The crisis is a 'bluff'", cut the senator of + Europe, Emma Bonino.

Proof of this is that after the vote, the Minister of Infrastructure, Danilo Toninelli, of the M5S, will bet on continuing with other works, after receiving harsh criticism from the leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, who accuses him of obstructionist.

What does seem clear is that Salvini is the true "dominus" of the Executive, having got his way on this issue and with the approval of the recent and questioned decree that establishes measures against NGOs that save immigrants.

The railway line between Turin (north) and Lyon (south of France) must cross the Alps to join the so-called Mediterranean Corridor, which will link Eastern and Western Europe along 3,000 kilometers to favor trade.

The issue is one of the main nodes of the Executive of Rome, who commissioned a report on costs and benefits that determined that the difference is negative for a value of 7,000 million euros.

In the report commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, in the hands of the M5S, it is concluded that the difference between costs and benefits resulting from the completion of the project is negative at a value of 7,000 million euros, although many doubt The truthfulness of this study.

The project not only divides the political formations, but also the society itself and for years several associations have emerged that demand the end of the works, even sabotaging them.

Organizations such as "No TAV" have opposed this work for decades, considering it useless, expensive and dangerous for the environment and the health of the populations of the Alps, as they fear the removal of tons of uranium and asbestos from the mountains .

. (tagsToTranslate) Government (t) Italian (t) deepen (t) division (t) Turin-Lyon

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