After being ignored, mocked and dragged around by his deputies in Italy's nationalist-populist government for 14 months, outgoing Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte took advantage of his resignation speech last week as a final audition – filled with previously unseen lightning from Gravitas and Steel – for the upcoming leading role in the government.
Mr. Conte got the role on Thursday.
Italian President Sergio Mattarella gave the little-known lawyer the task of acting as a political broker to form a sequel, but dramatically different, government known as Conte II. ("Conte Reloaded," the conservative daily Il Giornale preferred.)
A new government takes shape in Italy against Matteo Salvini
When he accepted the mandate, Mr Conte said on Thursday he wanted to regain lost time, "to Italy, a founding member the European Union to enable the rise again as a protagonist "and" turn this moment of crisis into an opportunity ".
He acknowledged that he had "doubts" about taking over a restored government after the recent collapse, but said that he "overcame this helplessness" had the responsibility to serve the interests of Italy.
When he took on "this political project", he did not represent one single party, but the interests of all Italians, something he said the Italians had come to appreciate.
A week after the [1 9459008] collapse of his last government, a nationalist-populist alliance between the anti-migrant league party and the anti-establishment Five-Star movement, Mr. Conte becomes a populist-anti-populist Coalition between Five Star and the center-left direct Democratic Party.
It was noteworthy that two parties have joined, who have called each other, including mafiosi and kidnappers, Internet trolls and Hetzer.
But so was the revival of Mr. Conte, who barely seemed to be important in much of the last government in which he was overshadowed by the right-wing leader of the League, Matteo Salvini, who was allegedly his deputy.
Mr. Conte has even arranged a press conference once to remind the country that he was the prime minister.
"I'm not here just scratching around or messing about," he said at this June conference, adding, "I can and want to do more. "
Now he will have the opportunity to help Italy heal its rifts in the European Union, rediscover a degree of financial responsibility and return to the table of European leaders, as the European establishment hopes.
Mr. Conte, who likes handkerchiefs and purple ties, is hardworking, even talking about legislation with a man in underwear on a balcony in Naples. His flowery vocabulary – he casually dropped words like Logomachy – sounds official, without really saying much. Over time, he overcame childbirth and facial expressions that seemed to be characterized by anxiety and indigestion.
"He is a small figure who has managed to find a role for himself," said Donatella Di Cesare, a professor of political philosophy at La Sapienza University in Rome.
"He had no history," she added, helping him fit into the role of an institutional administrator who could give the stubborn Eurosceptic, populist and anti-immigrant government a more accessible face. The parties chose him, she said, because he was "someone who played the part".
Thursday headlines expressed admiration for his transformation. "He went from Ja Mann to the Lord of Politics," read La Stampa. "A quasi-leader who puts bullies in their place," La Repubblica read. "A portrait of a puppet that became prime minister," says il Foglio.
And he has won friends at the highest level.
During a White House press conference in July 2018, President Trump introduced Mr. Conte as "my new friend" and came through for him on Tuesday and endorsed it in a tweet that spelled Mr. Conte's name incorrectly , (Mr. Trump called him Giuseppi.)
This vote of confidence was called on Wednesday evening by Five Star political leader Luigi Di Maio. "Donald Trump's support has made us understand that we are on the right track," he said when he announced the agreement with the Democratic Party to bring back Mr. Conte.
At the 2018 press conference, Mr. Trump said he was on the right track and Mr. Conte had a lot in common. In a way, he had a point.
"Like the United States, Italy is currently under enormous strain due to illegal immigration. And they fought hard, "Mr. Trump said. "And, frankly, the Prime Minister is here today for illegal immigration."
It was a response to the League's migration crisis and promised move and the more subtle anti-migrant message of the populist five-star politician Movement that led to their election.
When Conte never wanted to come to terms with the strict policy against migrants and sometimes asked him to let women and children off stranded ships, he never stood against it and signed the toughest anti-immigration laws.
His greatest concerns seemed to be the political damage Mr. Salvini had wrought on the Five-Star Movement, with which he was clearly in line. In December, an Italian television program caught Mr. Conte chatting to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in informal English at the coffee bar of an international meeting on how Five Star could stop Mr. Salvini's campaign car.
"We did surveys and they are worried because Salvini is 35.36 percent," he told Ms. Merkel. She nodded politely.
Prior to the elections in March 2018, when Five Star came to power, he was featured by his leaders as a potential minister in a five-star government. When they needed the support of another party to govern, and turned to the League, the two parties opted for Mr. Conte as Consensus Prime Minister.
He had a bad start. His rollout was hampered by the discovery that he had inflated his resume . Just last year, he did not seem to be sure of his job security when he was caught as prime minister when he planned to take an English exam for a teaching job at a university in Rome.
He was caught in Parliament and asked Mr. Di Maio, technically, his deputy, if he could say anything.
But it was Mr. Di Maio whom he eclipsed last weekend.
In the Withdrawal Speech of Mr. Conte When he condemned Mr. Salvini, who sat to his right as a dangerous, authoritarian, disloyal opportunist, who cared more for his own political success than for the country, was Mr. Di Maio, who sat on his left, filled with visible joy. 19659002] Mr Di Maio, his own polls, had tried to counter Mr Conte last year as a counterweight to Mr Salvini. Even the social media gurus of Mr. Salvini admired Mr. Conte's increasing popularity, which they attributed to his institutional orientation.
First, the Democratic Party insisted on a clean break with the previous government. But the insistence of the five-star movement on Mr. Conte and Mr. Conte's track record not to matter much made it easy for the Democratic Party negotiators to accept him as a condition of an alliance that will bring them back to power would. 19659002] And in last week's hearings, the Democratic Party angered Mr Di Maio, clarifying that she now naturally regarded Mr Conte as her main conversation partner and leader of the five-star party, even though he had no official membership.
] Mr. Di Maio, who had previously worked primarily as a usher in a football stadium, was once again forced to seek a job in the government, while support for Mr. Conte came from the party's highest authority.
Beppe Grillo, a Founder of the Five-Star Movement and one of its rulers wrote in his blog on Tuesday that God had personally given him a message to send to Mr. Conte. In the post that Mr. Grillo signed as God, he made it clear that Mr. Conte was the chosen one.
"Am I wrong," he wrote, "or one of the biggest fears in Italy today is that you're back on the pitch, Mr. Giuseppe?
Even Mr. Di Maio had to raise the former and future leader.
"A great interpreter of this new humanism, as he likes to call it," said Di Maio with a broad smile on Wednesday evening great courage, who has shown his will to serve the country with a spirit of self-sacrifice and rejection. "