Italy’s PM Giuseppe Conte has issued stark warning to EU in an interview given to BBC saying the Union could face failure in containing the outbreak. He urged the bloc to come up with concerted efforts to help countries worst hit by the Covid-19. He added that EU must act in an adequate way and rise to the challenge that has become the biggest test since the WWII. It was Conte’s first interview with the channel since the Pandemic blew out of proportions in his country 7 weeks ago.
He was speaking to BBC as Italy and some other countries in the Union are calling on comparatively frugal and less affected states for assistance through “corona bonds”. The Netherlands had particularly voiced her opposition to the idea leading to a disagreement over the finance minister of the Eurozone. The PM told the media house that EU’s leaders were facing an appointment with history that no one could miss.
“If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real.”
The latest figures show that virus is slowing down in the country from a litter over 1 percent while the rise 2 weeks ago was devastating 7%. The curve of fatalities has also dropped form 919 a fortnight ago to 542 in the past 24 hours. But the Premier warned the country should not lower restrictions imposed on March 9, 2020 and could only be eased slowly.
“We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity. If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month.”
Mr. Conte’s decisions to control the outspreads were recently lauded by Demos which showed his approval rating rising from 46% to 71%. However, the critics contested plaudits maintaining that the restrictions should have been pushed in the first few days where his government acted too slowly.
The Prime Minister initially opposed the tighter lockdown suggested politicians from Lombardy, the epicenter of deadly disease in the northern region but conceded when a Chinese Red Cross delegation visited Milan in Mid-March and condemned the piecemeal measures. However, Conte defended his decisions during the interview.
“”Going back, I would do the same”, he said. “We have a completely different system to China. For us to severely limit constitutional freedoms was a critical decision that we had to consider very carefully. If I had suggested a lockdown or limits on constitutional rights at the start, when there were the first clusters, people would have taken me for a madman.”
The country also maintains that one of the reasons for the large number of confirmed cases is due to the fact that it has conducted more testing than other country in region.
At present Britain is performing almost 14,000 test a day but it is still far behind Italy which is averaging a double to that. Conte didn’t’ criticize the decision openly but was suggested that the measures are not sufficient and compared slow testing to coping with the situation in the dark. Italy has lost near 100 doctors in fight against novel virus.
“I feel the pain of the gaping wound that this nation is experiencing”, Mr. Conte said. “Behind the numbers are names and surnames, life stories and broken families. The Italian nation is suffering.”