Disinfo: Coronavirus in Italy stripped down European unity

Summary

On the topic of combating the Coronavirus, it turned out that there is no European unity and each country for itself. Italy, which had become the epicentre of the Coronavirus, received aid from Russia, China and Cuba, but not from its NATO and European allies.

Disproof

This claim exploits the coronavirus pandemic to push a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the EU's alleged imminent collapse and a speculative claim about "abandoned Italy" claiming that the EU and NATO left Italy alone to fight coronavirus.

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the COVID-19 crisis and is supporting the Member States in tackling the pandemic and in mitigating its economic consequences, check HERE to follow up the progress of support between the EU institutions and the 27 member states.

The COVID-19 outbreak constituted a serious challenge to Europe's readiness for a crisis. The President of the European Commission has apologised for the slow response on behalf of the Union. 

The European Commission has approved a €50 million Italian aid scheme to support the production and supply of medical devices, as well as to help Italy provide the necessary medical treatment to those infected.

On the 13th of March, the EU proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, envisaging EUR 835 million for Italy. On the 26th of March 26, the European Parliament unanimously approved the initiative.

The European Central Bank announced a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) asset purchase program in an effort to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll in Europe continues to rise. As part of the program, investors will purchase Italian securities to help the country counter the serious risks of the coronavirus.

Individual EU members have also provided assistance to Italy specifically, including access to a hundred intensive care beds (Austria and Germany), 500 mobile medical units (Greece), 2.5 million masks (Austria and France), 30,000 protective suits (the Czech Republic and France), 300 ventilators (Germany), as well as 50 medical personnel (Poland, Romania, and non-member Norway).

On the 26th of April Economy Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni said that a recovery fund to help EU countries weather the coronavirus’ economic impact should be worth €1.5 trillion and be available by mid-September.

Furthermore, NATO has also been doing a lot to assist all its member states in the fight against COVID-19.   This includes facilitating the airlift of crucial medical supplies and equipment, matching requests for support with offers from allies and partners, setting up field hospitals.  Many Allies, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Spainhavebenefited from this support.

The coordination and delivery of urgently needed medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment, respirators and test kits, is organised by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) following requests by Allies and partner countries.

For example, in response to Spain and Italy’srequests for assistance made through the EADRCC, the Czech Republic bilaterally provided both countries with medical supplies, including 10,000 protective medical suits each.  Through the same mechanism, Turkey provided Italy and Spain with medical supplies such as masks, personal protection equipment and disinfectants.

Read similar cases claiming that Italy is without help from "hypocritical EU" and that the EU left Italy face to face with an invisible and terrible enemy.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: China, Cuba, Italy, Russia
  • Keywords: coronavirus, Euro-scepticism, humanitarian aid, EU disintegration, West, NATO, The West
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Disproof

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Disproof

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