The EU has been slammed for its inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic spreading through its member states. Italy, as the worst affected country, claims it was abandoned by the union which hoarded safety equipment, closed borders and failed to come together as one. Giorgia Meloni, the hard-right leader of the Brothers Party of Italy, spoke to the BBC about whether this could fuel an Italexit situation in the future.
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She said: “What provokes anti-European feeling is the EU’s inadequacy to respond or the idea the EU gives of Italy as a beggar needing to be helped, wasting its money.
“The European Union exists thanks to Italy but is a system that favours other countries, not Italy.”
Ms Meloni admitted that she did still think her nation should remain a member of the union and Eurozone.
She clarified: “But I would like to have another Europe.”
Local Italians have also expressed their disappointment with the EU.
One woman told the BBC: “I was pro-European but I changed my mind.
“I don’t believe in them anymore because I don’t think there is solidarity.”
A man also described how he “felt betrayed”.
He added: “I feel European so I hope everything will change.”
Another woman said: “We need Europe and Europe needs us.
“I believe that Italy will break if we go out from Europe.”
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EU leaders are meeting this afternoon to discuss the bloc’s response to the pandemic.
There’s expected to be bitter division about the huge aid package which is being set up to help economies recover.
Germany did eventually airlift Italian patients and sent in supplies.
But others like Russia were louder, dispatching aid and medics here, seizing the chance to fill the vacuum.
Ursula von der Leyen even went as far as to offer a “heartfelt apology” on behalf of the union.
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