Nicholas Farrell Nicholas Farrell

Why are only Italy’s ‘far right’ opposing vaccine passports?

Giorgia Meloni of the Fratelli d’Italia (photo: Getty)

Dante’s Beach, Ravenna

Here is your starter for ten. Which Italian political party believes that individual liberty is sacred? Answer: the party invariably defined by the international media as ‘far right’ or ‘fascist’ and jointly Italy’s most popular party in the opinion polls: in other words, the Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy).

Here in Italy, birthplace of fascism, the 44-year-old leader of the right wing Fratelli d’Italia – Giorgia Meloni – has been busy promoting distinctly anti-fascist values. In defence of human liberty, she has spoken out passionately against the decree issued on 22 July by Italian premier Mario Draghi which will introduce the ‘Green Pass’ to Italy. As of this Friday all Italians over the age of 12 will be banned from most enclosed public spaces and many open-air ones as well, unless they are equipped with this digital pass that proves they have had at least one Covid vaccine.

The Green Pass will be valid for nine months after full vaccination. In the case of a two jab vaccination, it will be valid until the second jab. Italians will also be able to escape the ban for six months if they have had Covid and lived to tell the tale, or for 48 hours after a negative Covid test.

Meloni is incandescant. ‘The idea of having to use this Green Pass to be able to participate in communal life is chilling, and the ultimate step towards the realisation of an Orwellian society,’ she tweeted when Draghi, the ex-boss of the European Central Bank, announced the news. ‘It is an unconstitutional act of madness that Fratelli d’Italia rejects outright, for us individual liberty is sacred and inviolable.’

She has also described the Green Pass as ‘economic suicide’ and Draghi’s dire warning that ‘every call not to vaccinate is a call to die’ as terror-mongering.

It is not the writings of Benito Mussolini that inspire Meloni today, but those of the late British conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton

Last Thursday, her party’s MPs staged a noisy protest, with placards but also masks, on the floor of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, causing the suspension of the proceedings for an hour.

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