Salvini Refuses to Vote for Coronavirus Bailout Decree, Labelling It a Mockery

Italian Lega party far-right leader Matteo Salvini (R), supported by Lega member Gian Marco Centinaio (2ndL), reacts as he addresses 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. - …
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

Populist Italian Senator Matteo Salvini joined former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in coming out against the “Cura Italia” Wuhan coronavirus bailout decree, saying that Italians will not see “one lira” of cash.

Salvini said that he, along with the League, will not vote for the Cura Italia decree and criticised the proposal as being “a substantial mockery of the Italians who will not see a lira”, he said, referencing Italy’s currency before the implementation of the euro.

“We have proposed many things and then not seen even one accepted, with the regret that we must be able to act quickly. It is not enough to say that the mayors and doctors are heroes; there is not a lira for them. We are in wartime, and we are still hostage to the trade unions,” he added.

Salvini went on to attack Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, according to Il Giornale, saying: “I want to give him a suggestion: before promising and deluding millions of workers and entrepreneurs by making announcements on TV, get things done. Conte makes announcements, but then citizens go to the bank and get zero.”

Former Italian Prime Minister and ally of Salvini Silvio Berlusconi said his party, Forza Italia, would not vote for the decree either, claiming that none of his suggestions was taken on board by the leftist coalition government.

“We were the first to ask that the state act as a guarantor of bank loans to businesses. But the government’s attitude towards businesses is more punitive than rewarding,” Berlusconi said and criticised the government’s process for businesses claiming bailout funds.

“In the United States, companies can get help with a procedure that takes seven minutes; we estimate that in some cases [in Italy] it will take 100 days,” he said.

“We have offered solutions to help the country to get out of this serious crisis, but the majority has relegated us to the role of spectators. The Cura Italia decree has become the decree of  ‘Let us cure Italy, and you watch’. At this stage, we win if we are together, or Italy is losing,” he added.

The criticisms of the decree come after Salvini had previously slammed the government’s coronavirus response and then offered to form a national unity government with the Democratic Party and the Five Star Movement, which was rejected.

He has also been a firm supporter of providing aid to the Italian people but warned late last month that at least €100 billion would be needed or the government could see the Italian people to revolt.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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