Forget about what all you have read until now. Mario Draghi is a true eurosceptic, and the new leader of the no-vax movement. The Italian prime minister, welcomed worldwide as the one capable of restoring the Italian reliability and credibility, proved himself to be a fake. His minister for Health, Roberto Speranza, introduced new restrictions to all people entering the country. The new measures foresee the reintroduction of quarantine for non-vaccinated people and mandatory buffer for already immunized travelers. The move is a clear denial of all the European measures agreed with the other EU partners so far. Furthermore, it gives credit to the criticism surrounding the anti-COVID jabs.
Clearly the diffusion of the Omicron variant, the resurgence of the pandemic with the increase in the number of infections and the large amount of Italians expected to fly back home for the Christmas break, are all reasons for concern. The decision taken by the Italian executive body is perfectly understandable in the light of an epidemiological situation, which has clearly deteriorated. Figures tell no lies, and the authorities have to find solutions in order to avoid the worst-case scenario. Nobody wants another tough lockdown, and the only way to set this option aside is the introduction of stricter rules.
Unfortunately, both the timing and the way of the action are not the best, at all. The new restriction approved in Italy will apply as of Thursday, 16 December. The same day Draghi will attend the European Council meeting, where the vaccination campaign is very high in the political agenda. The anti-COVID vaccines as a key element to tackle the ongoing health crisis remains a crucial element for the 27 heads of State and government of the EU.
«Vaccination, including third doses, remains our best tool in fighting the pandemic», the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, wrote in his traditional invitation letter address to the leaders. «We should spare no effort to overcome vaccine hesitancy and fight disinformation».
With the new restrictive measures in place, Draghi will thus sit around the table as the first person to put in question the summit itself. Despite the intentions and the declarations, Italy is showing that vaccination is not so important. On the contrary, the injection suddenly has become irrelevant. People immunized by two doses and in possession of a Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) are treated exactly as anti-vaxxers.
Despite the deteriorated situation, the message coming from Italy is the following: the green pass doesn’t count and vaccine is useless. This is nothing but the same rhetoric used by the no-vax people. Here Mario Daghi ends up becoming the number one public enemy of Europe, the traitor of signed commitments, and the main skeptic of all the measures adopted by Europe.
The call for sparing no efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy and fight disinformation has remained unheard even before the meeting, and the move of Draghi’s government puts the Italian prime minister in the front line with all those who are against the injection. At the same time, the once-believed hero feeds all the speculations and the misinformation over the vaccine. Nothing to say, everybody can admire Draghi’s masterpiece. In one move the Italian member of the EU declared checkmate.
Europe finds itself with a DCC strategy disavowed and a prime minister capable of turning into the new deniers’ head. If Mario Draghi had to be the last chance for Italy as well as for the EU, both they missed it.