Tuesday, May 18

Demonstrations throughout Italy against restrictions by the Covid


Correspondent in Rome

Updated:

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Italy has experienced a day of tension and protests by merchants, restaurateurs and street vendors, who have demonstrated in several cities against the government’s restrictions due to the Covid. Before the Chamber of Deputies in Roma, to the cry of “freedom, freedom”, the protesters, some without masks, tried to overcome the barriers and threw firecrackers and some bottles at the riot police. They responded by charging at the protesters, including members of the far-right fascist movement CasaPound. A man in the front row addressed the police with a desperate gesture, shouting: “I haven’t worked for 14 months and I haven’t brought my children food, and you tell us we don’t know how to demonstrate?” At least two policemen were injured and several protesters were arrested. The investigators speak of demonstrations with “infiltrators” of “various extremist groups”, whose aim is “to exploit social unrest and increase tension.” The senator and well-known critic of Art, Vittorio Sgarbi, who, in a kind of rally, spoke of a “criminal state” and of “a government that cultivates the disease”, because “the closures did not reduce the number of victims.” On this day there were 421 deaths from Covid, and in recent weeks the daily average is between 300 and 500 dead, according to data from the Ministry of Health.

Also in Milan there was tension. A group of street vendors gathered in Piazza Duca d’Aosta, in front of the Central Station, to ask for “immediate help” and to be allowed to sell street again. They blocked traffic, shouting “work, work” and threatened to close some ring roads if they did not receive urgent aid.

Also in Naples Restaurateurs and owners of bars and gyms have mobilized to protest against another week in confinement. Some 200 trucks and vans lined up to block traffic on the A1 Milan-Naples, between the capital of Campania and Caserta, displaying banners with the phrase: words: “We only ask to work.”

One of the participants in the protests in Rome against the restrictions by the Covid
One of the participants in the protests in Rome against the restrictions by the Covid – EFE

Despair for the crisis

The demonstrations will continue tomorrow Wednesday, like today, in many Italian cities. Although there are cases of “infiltrators”, as the police say, to “instrumentalize” people’s desperation for the Covid, analysts also point out that the protests are a reflection of the anguish that exists in some sectors due to the economic crisis and uncertainty for the future. Of the 20 regions of the country, eight are in the red zone (high risk), which in practice implies a confinement, while the rest of the country is declared as an orange zone (medium high risk), also with restrictions, but less severe.

Restrictions throughout April

The last decree of the Government established to maintain the restrictions until April 30, although everything will depend on the evolution of the pandemic. The leader of the League, Matteo SalviniHe stated that “if Italy remains closed for the entire month of April, it is the kidnapping of a person.” Salvini meets this Wednesday with the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, to ask that restrictions be lifted and there is a greater openness of activities. Draghi’s position is that the opinion of the technical scientific committee and the Restrictions depend on data on the spread of the virus.

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