Two-Thirds of Italians Fear Riots, Social Unrest Over Coronavirus

A firefighter stands in front of a burning car during a demonstration against the French government's proposed labour reforms on March 31, 2016 in Nantes, western France. Fresh strikes by unions and students are being held across France against proposed reforms to France's labour laws, heaping pressure on President Francois …

Nearly two-thirds of Italians now fear the country could see riots and social violence in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus, while trust in politicians has reached single-digit lows.

The alarming figures were published in a poll conducted by Euromedia Research this week, and claimed that 65 per cent of Italians feared that the country, especially in the north which has been the hardest hit region by the Chinese virus, could see social tensions and rioting in the country’s industrial heartlands.

Alessandra Ghisleri, director of Euromedia Research, commented on the results saying, “After a hundred days of lockdown, Italians are beginning to be afraid: seven out of ten fear that the economic crisis will detonate social uprisings, especially in the North. Only five out of a hundred say they still have faith in politicians,” Il Giornale reports.

“The real issue is that confidence in Italian politicians today is at 4.6 per cent,” Ghisleri said and referenced the “Vaffanculo-Days” (“Fuck-off Days”) that were organised by Five Star Movement founder Beppe Grillo in 2007 the last time Italian confidence in politicians was recorded as so low.

“Which pushes us to strongly affirm that politics today must not chase consensus, but common sense,” she added.

The polling also revealed that a majority of Italians were fearful of the economic impact of the coronavirus with 56.8 per cent saying they feared the economic situation in the country could get even worse as a result of the pandemic.

The polling comes as Italians have also become far more sceptical of the European Union in recent weeks, following the lack of solidarity between member states during the coronavirus crisis.

A poll released in late April revealed that at least 40 per cent of Italians thought their country would be better off outside the European Union. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has also sounded alarms on the subject saying, “If we do not seize the opportunity to put new life into the European project, the risk of failure is real.”

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


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