Italy Minister: Many Italians Will No Longer Be Here Next Christmas

“Many Italians will no longer be [here] next Christmas. Discussing dinners and parties with 600-700 deaths a day is really out of place.” These are the words of Francesco Boccia, Italy Minister of Regional Affairs.

The Minister spoke to La Vita in Diretta on Rai1, saying: “Never as at this moment do we feel the duty to avoid a third wave. We still have to hold up this month. I do not agree on travel and the reopening of the ski slopes.”

Italy must try to hold on, not lose “the sense of community” and remember that “many Italians will no longer be [here] next Christmas.” This is the invitation that comes from the Minister Boccia who is faced with the continuing controversies and social tensions that are dividing the country in this second wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Boccia addressed the latest request from the regions that want to reopen the ski slopes. He said: “Today, there are no conditions. The pressure of those who want a ‘free all’ for Christmas increases.”

Today, Italy passed the 50,000 deaths mark since the start of the pandemic. “Never as in this moment do we feel the duty to avoid a third wave, which does not mean locked up at home but allowing health workers to do their job in the best possible way,” explained Boccia.

The Minister asked for greater unity: “We must not lose the sense of community, what came out in the first wave and which also allowed us to demonstrate that the country has a very strong ability to react. I know it’s tough – for families, for kids going to school, for health workers, and for all of us – but we still have to hold up this month, we have to hold hands, and I’m sure we’ll win and come out stronger than before. But we must not let ourselves be discouraged and lose the sense of community that makes Italy the exceptional country it is.”

The Minister for Regional Affairs has called for prudence for this in view of the next DPCM (Ministerial Decree) that the government is preparing to launch and the discussion on any ad-hoc measures planned for the Christmas holidays, moving from one region to another, for example. “Of course, I am firmly opposed to moves like the ones that took place in the summer,” explained Boccia. Mistakes made on beaches and dance floors should not be repeated now.

Peter Gomez, Director of Il Fatto Quotidiano, had this to say: “I find it surreal that after everyone has understood that one of the causes of the spread of the virus was this summer’s holidays, we can think of returning to the ski slopes. We all know what skiing entails; it is impossible to go to skiing without going into a bar, a hut. Getting on a cable car is like taking the bus, except that we take public transport for work, skiing is fun.” The director then focused on the theme of those who protested and asked for guarantees: “Those who work in accommodation facilities are legitimately concerned, they must be refreshed.”

He concluded by saying: “So that we can make plans to say let’s try to reopen safely when we can, that’s fine. But if anyone thinks it’s possible to go skiing at Christmas as if nothing happened, it is an idiot thinking.

“And it is serious that some regional presidents or councilors are talking about it at this time. The surprising thing is that Piedmont and Lombardy which are totally in chaos support this request. Do they do it to finally place the blame on the Rome government if things go wrong?”