The work of the coalition was overshadowed from the beginning by debates about the various criminal proceedings against S. Berlusconi and the related questions of his parliamentary immunity. The problem came to a head when Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison on August 1, 2013 by the Italian Court of Cassation for tax fraud. Thereupon a dispute arose over whether a law passed in 2012 that forbids the exercise of a political office in such cases should also be applied to Berlusconi. At the end of September 2013, at the instigation of Berlusconi and his supporters, the PdL ministers submitted their resignation, which presented the party with an acid test. Prime Minister Letta did not accept the resignations and scheduled a vote of confidence for October 2, 2013. Berlusconi gave in surprisingly, so that Letta could win the vote. However, these processes ultimately led to the split in the PdL. On November 16, 2013, Berlusconi renamed the party back to Forza Italia. The pro-government PdL camp headed by Secretary General and Interior Minister Angelino Alfano (* 1970) founded the new political group Nuovo Centrodestra (NCD; German “New Right Center”). On November 27, 2013, the Senate expelled Berlusconi, which meant that Berlusconi had lost his parliamentary immunity. Prime Minister Letta lost in February 2014 the support of his party and resigned. PD party leader M. Renzi, who committed himself to an extensive reform agenda, was sworn in as his successor on February 22nd, 2014.
In December 2014, for example, a controversial law on labor market reforms was passed (including the relaxation of protection against dismissal). The trade unions responded to the reform on December 12, 2014 with a general strike. The European elections on May 25, 2014 did not bring about the expected neck-to-neck race between the PD and the MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S) protest movement that emerged in the polls. Instead, Prime Minister Renzi’s party was able to prevail with 40.8% (+ 14.7%) against the M5S party, which appeared for the first time and was relegated to second place with 21.2%. For more articles about Italy and Europe, please follow Softwareleverage.
On January 14, 2015, President Napolitano resigned for reasons of age. On January 31, 2015, the delegates of the electoral assembly elected the PD politician S. Mattarella with 665 of 1009 votes in the fourth ballot as the new head of state. Prime Minister Renzi’s government stuck to its reform agenda in 2015. In June 2015, Renzi continued by means of a vote of confidence, a controversial school reform, the adoption of which had previously been postponed for months, was carried out. In this context, the government made investments available to improve the quality of Italian educational institutions. The decision-making powers of the rectors should be strengthened, performance-related salaries introduced and teacher training promoted. At the center of the reform efforts were a change in the electoral law and a constitutional reform to rebuild the Senate. On May 4, 2015, Parliament passed the reform of the electoral law for the House of Representatives. (including 3% clause, majority bonus for parties that receive between 40 and 50% of the votes). On October 13, 2015, the Senate approved a constitutional amendment that reduces the number of seats in the Senate to 100 and curtails the political powers of the second chamber. In a referendum on December 4, 2016, however, the population rejected this constitutional amendment. Then Prime Minister submitted M. Renzi , who had linked his political fate to the success of the reform, resigned on December 7, 2016. President S. Mattarella commissioned Foreign Minister P. Gentiloni (PD)on December 11, 2016 with the formation of a new government, which was sworn in on December 12, 2016. The House of Representatives and the Senate expressed their confidence in the multi-party government made up of PD, CD, NCD, SC and UDC on December 13 and 14, 2016, respectively. On January 25, 2017, the Italian Constitutional Court declared parts of the controversial new electoral law launched by the Renzi government to be invalid. On October 12, 2017, the Italian parliament passed a new electoral law with a mixture of proportional and majority voting. On December 28, 2017, President Mattarella dissolved opened parliament, paving the way for new elections on March 4th, 2018. The government under Prime Minister Gentiloni remained in office.
From the new elections emerged as the strongest single party with 32.68% of the EU-skeptical, left-wing populist MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S; “Five Star Movement”), followed by a wide margin by the social democratic Partito Democratico (PD; “Democratic Party”) [18.74%]), the right-wing populist to partly right-wing extremist Lega [Nord] (L; »Liga [Nord]« [17.34%]), the economically liberal-conservative-populist Forza Italia (FI; »Vorwärts Italy «[13.98%]) as well as various small parties. After months of domestic political conflicts, a coalition government consisting of 5 posts and Lega was formed on June 1, 2018, under the leadership of the politically inexperienced lawyer Giuseppe Conte sworn in in Rome. Her final parliamentary legitimation took place on June 6, 2018.