FROM THE MAIL TO BRUSSELS. Before leaving for Brussels, Giuseppe Conte made his last decisive calls. He heard the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, until a few weeks ago in the deployment of the most skeptical about the concessions of the Recovery Fund. But above all he had a telephone conversation with the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz – a member of the “frugal” block but with a softer approach than the Dutch Mark Rutte – and with the leaders of two Visegrad countries, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the Czech counterpart, Andrej Babis. The phone call with Orban, according to Italian sources, touched the other delicate chapter of the negotiation, parallel to the one that affects the government of Rome.
The strong man in Budapest considers a “blackmail” to condition access to EU subsidies for post-coronavirus recovery to respect the principles of the rule of law and to the provisions of article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union. The issue has been open for months and directly affects Poland and Hungary, in the sights of the EU Commission for the progressive limitation of civil rights by both governments. In the fragile intersection of interests that surrounds the European negotiation, the countries of the South, including Italy, in search of allies to arm the Recovery Fund, are seeking mediation to soften the hostilities towards Orban and Warsaw. The most explicit, in this sense, was the Portuguese Prime Minister, the socialist Antonio Costa, in a letter published on the site Publico, in which he advocates the opportunity not to link the two arguments – economic fund and respect for the rule of law – because in his opinion insisting on this path could lead to negative consequences for all of Europe.