Public Policy Dynamics Italy #3
Health and Politics in Italy
|Total COVID-19 cases:||2,683,403|
|14-day total COVID-19 cases per 100,000:||281.52|
|Total COVID-19 deaths:||92,729|
- In order to overcome the impasse caused by the government crisis, President Sergio Mattarella has decided to seek a “high profile” government, with this mandate accepted by Mario Draghi. The consultations with political forces and social parties have ended, but it is not yet clear whether the government will be technical or political. The names of the ministers will be decided by Draghi himself, together with Mattarella.
- The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) – and its funds – are strictly linked to the government crisis and its ongoing developments. The latest version of the PNRR approved by the Council of Ministers on 12 January met much criticism, but decision-makers must expedite the process if the Government wants to meet the deadline of 30 April to send the Plan back to the European Commission.
- Compared to tables circulated at the beginning of February, the vaccine supply schedule has changed again. The number of doses expected by the end of the second quarter has risen, and the total number of doses expected by June 2022 now also includes the doses expected from Curevac and Johnson & Johnson. However, the total number dropped, due to a halving of the expected doses from J&J, since only one dose for the vaccination will be necessary.
- After consultations with the Parliament’s parties, it has become clear that Giuseppe Conte does not have sufficient support for a third mandate as prime minister, and as such President Mattarella has officially accepted his resignation. Following this decision, President Mattarella gave an exploratory mandate to the President of the Chamber Roberto Fico to check the viability of a new government with the same parties of the Conte’s government, which again bore no fruit. Matterella has explained that due to the limitations caused by the pandemic mean elections ought not to be held now. The President said he would seek a “high profile” government, and this mandate was accepted by the former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.
- Draghi is now trying to form a new unity government to guide the country out of the pandemic and through economic recovery. Draghi is backed by the centre left Democratic party (Pd), Matteo Renzi's Italy Alive (IV), and Silvio Berlusconi's right-wing Forza Italia (FI) party. The Movement 5 Stars seems internally divided on the topic, so they allowed the electorate decide through the movement's online platform. From the results of the vote, it emerged that the electorate is in favour of a possible Draghi government. In a decision that came as a great surprise to observers, the Eurosceptic right-wing Northern League party also said it would support Draghi (under certain conditions). The leader Matteo Salvini said he agreed with Draghi on many points, including the health plan, welfare, the post-pandemic reopening, and education. The only party’s leader who clearly stated she will not support this government is Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party
- It is possible that already today, 12 February, Mario Draghi will go to Palazzo Quirinale to take the oath and announce the list of ministers (not even known by the parties as yet).
- The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) is linked to the Government crisis and its ongoing developments. This is the document with which the Government outlines the objectives, reforms and investments that Italy wants to make with the Next Generation EU funds. It amounts to almost 224 billion euro (about 209 billion from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and 14 billion from the ReactEu fund), which Italy will receive by 2026. The latest version of the PNRR approved by the Council of Ministers on 12 January 2021 met much criticism, first and foremost the lack of specific objectives in each project and a detailed timetable for their implementation. Now, the PNRR has begun its parliamentary process, a crucial step because, after examination, the document will have to be sent back to the Government for the incorporation of proposed amendments and then back to Parliament for final approval. The Plan will then have to be sent to the Commission by 30 April 2021. The structure of the PNRR is divided into 6 macro-missions:
- Digitisation, innovation, competitiveness and culture (€46.1 billion);
- green revolution and ecological transition (€68.9 billion);
- infrastructure for sustainable mobility (€31.9 billion);
- education and research (€28.4 billion);
- inclusion and social (€27.6 billion);
- health (in particular telemedicine, innovation and research) (€19.7 billion).
- During a meeting with Health Minister Roberto Speranza on 20 January, the Regional Health Councillors requested the resumption of the working tables on the Health Pact, which the Covid-19 pandemic has effectively halted. Among the urgent matters to be dealt with are the updating of the decree on the reorganisation of hospitals, and the reform of territorial healthcare. During the meeting, it was decided to resume the threads of the Pact approved in December 2019, and the Regions chose their members of the working tables and the Steering Committee. The resumption of work should therefore be imminent.
- Compared to tables circulated at the beginning of February, Italy’s vaccine supply schedule has changed again. The number of doses expected by the end of the second quarter rises from 39.86 million to 79.45 million, to include Johnson & Johnson and Curevac. If, however, only the three vaccines currently available are to be available, Italy could vaccinate just under 25 million citizens, or 41.3 percent of the population.
- The total number of doses expected by June 2022, compared to the slides circulated last week following the Government-Regions summit, now also includes the doses expected from Curevac and Johnson & Johnson, but the total drops from 226.16 million to 224.03 million doses. The reduction is due to a halving of the expected doses from Johnson & Johnson, though this is just due to the need for only one dose of the J & J vaccine. The total number of doses of the vaccine was reduced from 53.83 million in the Ministry of Health's decree of 2 January 2021 to 26.56 million in the update between the second and fourth quarters of 2021. In the halving, however, some 348,000 doses have inexplicably been lost.