Disinfo: EU is on the verge of collapse

Summary

It is no longer unlikely that countries like Italy or Spain will leave the eurozone (as a result of the selfish European response toward the Coronavirus epidemic). The collapse of the eurozone is the first step towards the collapse of the European Union.

Disproof

Groundless speculation made without evidence.

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the alleged disintegration of the European Union as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. See similar disinformation cases that the EU's health and safety policies have failed, that the COVID-19 outbreak means the end of Europe, and that many European states will likely cease to exist due to the pandemic.

After an initial slow response, the European Union is supporting Member States in addressing the crisis and mitigating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To cushion the blow to people’s livelihoods and the economy, the European Commission has adopted a comprehensive economic response to the outbreak, applied the full flexibility of the EU fiscal rules, has revised its State Aid rules and proposed to set up a EUR 37 billion Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide liquidity to small businesses and the health care sector.

To support scientific research into the COVID-19, the European Commission earmarked 47,5 million EUR for shortlisted research projects that can improve epidemiology and public health, including preparedness and response to outbreaks. The EU has also created first-ever stockpile of medical equipment.

Read more about the EU's response here and here.

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  • Reported in: Issue 197
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/05/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Arabic
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: EU, Italy, Spain
  • Keywords: coronavirus, euro, Euro-scepticism, European Union
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The Soviet Union saw no possibility to refuse signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

WWII began in September 1939 when Germany assaulted Poland.

The Soviet Union saw no escape from signing this agreement (the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”) to defer from being a target of Nazi Germany’s aggression, as soon as two major European countries – Britain and France – refused to form an alliance with the USSR to stop Nazi Germany’s attacks on European countries.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative revising the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and distorting the events of the Second World War.

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to portray Russia's role in World War II as non-aggressive. The European Parliament resolution stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the mentioned pact.

UK pushed Hitler to invade Eastern Europe

Britain was the brains that urged (Nazi) Germany to move toward the East. The British were flirting with Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, from the day he came to power in 1933 until 1939.

Disproof

A recurring disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War, and part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism.

This narrative points out to the 1938 Munich Agreement when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed to Hitler's annexation of the Sudetenland, portions of Czechoslovakia with ethnic-German majorities (Czechoslovakia itself was excluded from the negotiations). Chamberlain was aiming back then to avert another massive European war, but as it turned out, later on, it only delayed the conflict while making Hitler more powerful when the war finally came.

The West accuses Russia of spreading disinformation without evidence

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia and China are spreading disinformation to increase influence among NATO countries and the European Union and to destabilise these countries in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, Stoltenberg did not cite specific examples of disinformation from Russia and China. According to him, Russia has turned the mission into a propaganda operation. However, not only the Western Media is engaged in speculation on the topic of coronavirus. Often the US officials also practice unproven accusations and dissemination of misinformation, covering up their failure to fight the infection.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative denying that any Russian media have been involved in spreading disinformation about the coronavirus and aiming to portray any outside criticism of Russia as a symptom of "Russophobia". The European External Action Service has issued special reports listing and detailing disinformation narratives related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of individual cases is approaching 500 (as of 18 May 2020), and each debunk can be accessed through the EUvsDisinfo database. The pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the coronavirus has been well documented by both media and governments, and some of their elements were widely reported by Russian and international publications. The coronavirus is a daily topic in pro-Kremlin media, including in state-owned outlets. These messages are characteristic of the pro-Kremlin media’s well-established strategy of using disinformation to amplify divisions, sow distrust and chaos, and exacerbate crisis situations and issues of public concern. Read similar cases: EU cites zero facts about Russia’s alleged disinformation on coronavirus and Europe is blaming others for its problems with claims about alleged coronavirus “Russian disinformation”. See here for further debunking by POLYGRAPH.info.