‘We behave responsibly’: Italy responds to Boris Johnson’s ‘freedom’ jibe

'We behave responsibly': Italy responds to Boris Johnson's 'freedom' jibe
Italian President Sergio Mattarella. AFP
Italian President Sergio Mattarella responded on Thursday to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's comments on the two countries' handling of the coronavirus, saying Italy too loved freedom but also behaved responsibly.

Johnson suggested Tuesday that coronavirus infections were higher in Britain than in Italy or Germany because it was a “freedom-loving country” — a barb that sparked great offence in Rome.

Asked in parliament if “the reason Germany and Italy have far lower Covid rates than us” is because their contact tracing systems work better, he said there was “a very important difference… our country is a freedom-loving country”.

He claimed that made it very difficult to ask the British population uniformly to obey guidelines.

Asked about the comment, Mattarella said: “We Italians also love freedom, but we also care about seriousness”.

Italy was the first country outside China to face a major coronavirus outbreak, but has managed to keep infection rates relatively low compared to Spain, France and Britain.

READ ALSO: Why Italy is now faring better than the UK in the fight against Covid-19?

Photo: AFP

Member comments

  1. Has nothing to do with the UK being freedom loving and it is insulting to other nations who have done well, to use this as an excuse for his less than stellar leadership. Boris has constantly twiddled his thumbs and waxed and waned with what direction he wanted to go with regards to COVID-19. While Italy had put many restrictions in place, (along with many other nations), the UK left its border open way too long. For the UK the emphasis seem to be on economy, whereas the emphasis in Italy has been the lives of its citizens.

  2. I am proud to be living inItaly, a country where an individualistic people know how to obey the rules when necessary!

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