“Free-vax, no-vax, you are a danger to the community you live in,” reads the sign outside Cremeria Spinola in the town of Chiavari in Genova, the text of which was also posted to the shop’s Facebook page.
“Your innocent children should be kept out of the schools where, in addition to their own lives, they will put at risk the lives of almost 10,000 immunosuppressed children who can’t get vaccinated.”
“I don’t want your homicidal laws in my country and I don’t need your money. You're not welcome in my ice cream parlour” the notice concludes.
The gelateria's owner, Matteo Spinola, 43, told La Repubblica that he does not have children of his own but that he shares the concerns of his friends who do have children and felt that he could not keep silent after Italy's mandatory vaccination law was overturned this week.
The Milleproroghe decree, approved by the Italian Senate on Monday, weakens the Lorenzin decree of July 2017, which made it compulsory for children under 16 to be vaccinated against ten common diseases before they were allowed to enroll in school.
For the coming school year Italian children will be able to attend school without their parents providing proof of vaccination.
Vaccination has become a divisive issue in Italy in recent months, with several key figures in the country's populist Five Star Movement-League coalition government expressing scepticism about its value.
Davide Barillari, a Five Star Movement councillor for the region of Lazio, came under fire for writing a Facebook post on Monday in which he posed the question "When was it decided that science was more important than politics?", and declared "Politics comes before science."
Italy’s Five Star Movement Health Minister Giulia Grillo raised eyebrows for telling Corriere della Sera in an interview yesterday that deaths from measles was something Italy would have to accept, saying, "You can not delude people that nobody will die. We must be realistic."
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