The result of the election in Italy is presented as a victory of the good against the global government, a victory that will eliminate all restrictions imposed on Italy’s territory with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the restrictions have been lifted for some time by Italy’s current government.
NEWS: “Giorgia Meloni, the president of the Brothers of Italy, brings down the left-wing and the COVID Dictatorship. The traditional right-wing Brothers of Italy party promised to end the Dictatorship of Vaccination and “green” certificates used to discriminate non-vaccinated people. Additionally, Giorgia Meloni’s party also wants to set up a committee to investigate the management of the pandemic. Let us learn from our Roman brothers.
Ursula von der Leyen has threatened Italians to “be wary of how they vote”, lest Italy should be sanctioned. It seems Italians paid heed to her warning and voted in large numbers to oust the Covid Dictatorship”.
NARRATIVES: 1. The peoples of Europe are waking up to the hard reality and are ending the medical dictatorship of the eco-Marxist left-wing. 2. Countries that refuse to vote in line with EU “recommendations” are threatened with severe sanctions.
BACKGROUND: After Sweden, the Conservative right-wing has won the election in Italy with a slight majority. With Hungary and Poland already dominated by Eurosceptic rightist parties, the victory of the Brothers of Italy is seen as taking Europe one step closer to becoming a sovereigntist entity that will lead to the disappearance of the EU. The article in question, along with others dealing with the same topic, was published by activenews.ro, an online publication that in recent years has been endorsing scores of false narratives about the coronavirus pandemic, but also other political topics.
PURPOSE: To fuel sovereigntist, anti-EU and anti-NATO discourse and promote the idea that it is time Romania too headed in that direction.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Italy has probably the most turbulent political history of all EU states. In the 75 years that passed since the new Constitution was adopted, Italy has had no less than 66 governments. Out of a collective fear to steer clear of past mistakes and let extremist political parties rule (either right-wing fascists or left-wing communists), prior to 1994 Italians have always backed a centrist coalition that revolved around the Christian Democracy.
Nevertheless, after the Mani pulite operation, Italy has been repeatedly ruled by coalitions led by right-wing parties such as Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia or Matteo Salvini’s Lega Nord. This shows this is not the first time that a party “brings down” the Italian left-wing.
Coming back to the central argument the article makes, namely cancelling restrictions introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in Italy all restrictions were lifted as early as spring this year. Starting May 1, 2022, Italian authorities lifted the obligation to present a vaccination certificate upon entering restaurants and stores and at the same time no longer required citizens to fill in the European Digital Passenger Locator Form. At the same time, starting June 1, 2022, crossing the Italian border no longer requires the presentation of the EU Green Certificate. The only restriction still standing, which will expire on September 30, is the mandatory wearing of face masks in means of public transportation as well as in healthcare units.
It’s also worth noting how Italians are turned from evil and exploiters into our “Roman brothers”. The term is meant to attune Romanian nationalist and sovereigntist audiences to the Italians’ election achievements, not to worship some common history of the two peoples that ushered in harmony and prosperity.
Ahead of last Sunday’s elections, on September 23, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, published a statement about the possible outcome of the ballot in Italy, saying that “If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools”. In fact, the phrase is deliberately taken out of context by the author of the article. The full text of her statement is the following: “My approach is that whatever democratic government is willing to work with us, we're working together. If things go in a difficult direction, I've spoken about Hungary and Poland, we have tools [to assist / make adjustments, e.n.]”. Also note that the word difficult was deliberately translated as wrong.
The statement is then tied to the sanctions Brussels introduced against Hungary and Poland. In fact, these sanctions, which in the meantime have been lifted in the case of Poland, have nothing to do with the political color of governments in Warsaw and Budapest, but with their line of policy in terms of corruption, minority rights and decision-making transparency, as well as with the absence of real reforms in the field of the judiciary. In Hungary’s case, the recovery plan it submitted to the European Commission is yet to be approved due to a number of misgivings over European funds fraud that might have been committed by Hungarian officials. Even under these circumstances, the European Commission is looking for solutions to help Hungary and start earmarking funds to its Recovery and Resilience Plan.