ITALY’s call for help as the coronavirus swept the country was ignored by Europe.
On 26th February, with the number of coronavirus infections tripling every 48 hours, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, made an urgent appeal to the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters in Brussels for help.
With a shortage of masks, gloves and aprons for medical staff, and not enough ventilators for patients in intensive care, the country was on its knees.
But Italy’s plea for aid went unanswered.
“No member state responded to Italy’s request and to the commission’s call for help,” said Janez Lenarčič, the European commissioner responsible for crisis management.
“Which meant that not only is Italy not prepared … Nobody is prepared … The lack of response to the Italian request was not so much a lack of solidarity. It was a lack of equipment.”
Leaders have been asked fundamental questions about the purpose of the European project when states fail to come to each other’s aid at the darkest times.
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