ITALY was the first Western country to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic- and immediately took restrictive measures to contain the virus.
18 months on, Italy is now the first country that has imposed a ‘Green Pass’. Workers will have to provide proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from the virus.
At the beginning of August the government imposed the Green Pass for bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and sporting events and concerts. With September came the turn of long-haul transport, airplanes, trains and ships.
Now the government has decided to extend the measure also to those in public and private work, triggering protests from those who think that this is a measure that infringes the rights of freedom enshrined in the Italian constitution.
“It’s a vexatious and useless measure which does not stop the contagion but surreptitiously introduces the obligation to vaccinate,” thundered Giorgia Meloni, leader of Fratelli d’Italia, the only party in opposition to the Draghi government.
“The idea of having to use this Green Pass to be able to participate in communal life is chilling, and the ultimate step towards the realisation of an Orwellian society.”
Pointing the finger at the government, she defined the Covid certification as “a weapon of mass distraction to distract citizens from the fact that once again they are not doing what they have to do to make us safe”.
There are many voices in Italy opposed to such a coercive measure.
The same leader of the Salvini League tried in every way to oppose the measure, but then faced with the risk of having to come out of the coalition agreement around the premier, he had to sketch and give his green light against his will.
Many consider the Green Pass introduction as an exaggerated and unnecessary move. The level of infections is declining, while almost three-quarters of the population have been double jabbed.
There are some who accuse the government of wanting to impose the Green Pass to mask its deficiencies in terms of containing the virus. The government has imposed the Green Pass, because it knows it has done almost nothing on the three fundamental aspects: air exchange in schools, public transport, and care home protocols.
It is therefore natural that, fearing the worst, they would take precautions by imposing more restrictions than those that appear immediately logical and justified, according to sociologist and editor of La Stampa Luca Ricolfi.
The fact that the whole Government coalition, with some exceptions in the ranks of the League, and even the President of the Republic Segio Mattarella – always very careful not to take partisan positions – have strongly reiterated the absolute necessity of such a measure, opens many doubts about it.
But the government seems nonetheless not to care about these opinions but pulls straight towards what it considers instead paradoxically as a measure of freedom.
This risks creating inevitable tensions in the country, as a directive from the Ministry of the Interior has announced in recent days.
“The green pass imposes burdens on categories that have already paid a very high price to the pandemic, while we could continue to work with the protocols that have existed so far, without imposing illegitimate and ineffective obligations,” Carlo Fidanza, delegation head of the European Conservatives and Reformists to the European parliament, said.
And the same Fidanza recounts how they convinced themselves to support the European Green pass, when it was established last July as a measure to initiate and protect the tourism sector severely hit by the pandemic.
The fines provided for those without a green pass and for clubs or companies are in fact very high – up to 1000 euros.
The accusation last week from former mayor of Venice, Massimo Cacciari, to the government on the Green Pass is very harsh.
Cacciari, in fact, wonders why vaccines are not enough: “There is a fear that they will not work?
“The Green Pass would then become nothing more than a surreptitious means to prolong indefinitely – perhaps with repeated vaccinations – a sort of micro lockdown.”
According to Cacciari, moreover, “the drift is that of a society of ‘supervising and punishing’.
“It is the society in which the forms of control and surveillance inherent in the technologies that we all use are increasingly agreeing to political regimes”.
The Health Ministry have claimed that, after the extension of the Green Pass, reservations for the first doses of the vaccine have increased by 20%.
But at the same time the health minister Roberto Speranza, much criticized by the opposition, has already made it clear that in a few days the third dose will start.
By implying that even with the green pass and mass vaccination, the pandemic continues to worry the health authorities of the country.
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