DISINFO: Italy is alone defending itself from coronavirus, without any help from hypocritical EU
Italy is forced to defend itself from the coronavirus pandemic by itself, without any help from other EU member states. The unprecedented assistance given to Italy by China, Russia and Cuba showed the world the real meaning of solidarity, in contrast to Europe’s hypocritical values. Many Italian politicians, and not only anti-EU ones, have begun discussing the possibility of an “Italexit”, a withdrawal of Italy from the EU.
Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative claiming that the EU and other EU countries have not shown any solidarity towards Italy in its fight against the coronavirus, while Russia, China and Cuba have shown such solidarity. This message is consistent with the narrative that the EU is failing to cope with the COVID-19 crisis and is disintegrating as a result. This narrative of EU failure and lack of EU solidarity is trending after the delivery of Russian aid to Italy. These narratives also aim to pit the EU Member States against each other in an attempt to undermine European solidarity - another recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation tactic. 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. EU countries are showing solidarity with the countries most affected by the coronavirus pandemic by helping to treat the patients and protect health workers. Critically ill patients from Italy and France are treated in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg; millions of medical masks and other protective equipment have been sent to Italy. Read more about European solidarity in action here. 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's 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. The Commission is further increasing its response by proposing to set up a €100 billion solidarity instrument to help workers keep their incomes and businesses stay afloat, called SURE. It is also proposing to redirect all available structural funds to the response to the coronavirus. To support scientific research into 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 also created the first-ever stockpile of medical equipment. Read more about the EU's response here. Read a similar case claiming that the EU is dead, it abandoned Italy, and only Russia, China and Cuba gave a helping hand.