Salvini Attacks Conte: ‘He Wants to Clear his Conscience’ Over Italy’s Coronavirus Crisis

Lega members Gian Marco Centinaio (L) and Roberto Calderoli (R) congratulate Italian Lega party far-right leader Matteo Salvini after he addressed the Senate on February 12, 2020 in Rome, as Italian senators are to decide whether he should face trial on charges of illegally detaining migrants at sea last year. …
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Former Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini attacked the nation’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, on Tuesday over the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, suggesting that Conte is blaming management at an Italian hospital for the spread of the virus, when he should really be looking at his own leadership in Rome.

“He wants to clear his conscience,” said Salvini of the Italian prime minister, according to a report by Il Giornale.

The former deputy prime minister and “League” leader suggested that Rome is to blame for the coronavirus problem in Italy, not the leaders of the affected regions in Italy.

“The problem is not with the red zones but with the whole territory,” said Salvini, who added that since the beginning of the crisis, the League “has been working on the health front, with mayors, local doctors, operators and nurses who are doing a great job.”

On Monday, Conte blamed one of the nation’s northern hospitals for the spread of the coronavirus in Italy, stating that management at the hospital “did not follow protocol.”

Salvini also addressed Italy’s expected loss in tourism, and the impact it will have on Italian citizens.

“The tourism sector alone [has] 80 percent less attendance,” said Salvini. “Twenty million euros perhaps serve a part of the population of Codogno.”

Codogno is located in the Italian region of Lombardy, which is one of the most heavily affected regions with 212 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Moreover, Federturismo Confindustria — Italy’s travel and tourism industry — warns that the nation is expected to lose at least €5 billion in tourism over fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

Salvini went on to say that the League has prepared a decree “that we will make available to the government, because despite the unpleasant attitude of someone looking for enemies in other people’s homes, it is a time when the population asks us for proposals.”

“They will be handed over to the government and I will personally deliver them by phone,” he added. “We hope that the government will not quarantine the proposals of the League, since they come to us.”

Conte had made it known that he contacted Salvini, but did not receive a reply from him, reports Il Giornale.

“The Prime Minister, if he wanted to call a senator, would have the right to do so. Just call, or send a [WhatsApp message] to the right number,” said Salvini, suggesting that Conte can contact him at any time to discuss the coronavirus issue.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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