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Post Coronavirus Report: Germany; Anti-EU Sentiment in Italy
Created by John Eipper on 04/07/20 6:16 AM

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Coronavirus Report: Germany; Anti-EU Sentiment in Italy (Patrick Mears, -Germany, 04/07/20 6:16 am)

I hope that everyone is safe and sound at WAIS HQ and at all of its singular annexes blanketing the world.

Things are improving here in South Germany concerning the weather and the pandemic. This entire week will be sunny without rain and the temperature will be in the range of 20-25 degrees Celsius. There has been optimism expressed about the possibility that the "lockdown measures" adopted by the government of the German Bundesstaat of Baden-Württemberg (where Heidelberg is situated) will be significantly eased sometime after Easter, assuming that nothing goes haywire in the meantime. In Heidelberg, the numbers of infected persons and deaths caused by the virus are low--as of this morning there have been 243 confirmed virus cases reported along with with 4 resulting deaths. Connie reports that the current population of Heidelberg is circa 160,000.

In his post today, Eugenio Battaglia commented on the upcoming EU meeting and its anticipated "screw Italy" agenda. On that same theme, there is an excellent "FT Big Read" article in today's issue of the Financial Times titled, "The risk of losing Italy." The article describes the increasing anti-EU sentiment in Italy and raises the spectre that this recent shift in Italian public opinion resulting from the continuing asymmetrical impact of the pandemic on Italy may sometime soon result in a strong Italo-Exit movement. Rather than summarize the FT's coverage of this issue, I think it would be better to quote a few paragraphs at the beginning of the article:

"Now even (Signor Carlo) Calenda, a 46-year-old former Minister and Italian permanent representative to the EU, is experiencing a crisis of faith in an idea he has spent a lifetime fighting for. 'This is an existential threat. I am to sure if we are going to make it,' he says. 'You have to consider my party is one of the most pro-European parties in Italy and I now have members writing to me saying: "Why do we want to stay in the EU? It is useless." As Italy faces its most severe crisis since the Second World War, with more than 15,000 deaths from coronavirus and its economy is on course to suffer the deepest recession in modern history, there is a rising feeling among even its pro-European elite that the country is being abandoned by its neighbors.'"

I highly recommend the article to all WAISers.

JE comments:  Click below. A recent poll concluded that 67% of Italians now believe the EU is a disadvantage for its economy.  In November 2018 the number was only 47%.  An "Italexit" would leave the EU as little more than a Franco-German axis, with some peripheral states hanging on.

Nice to hear of the renewed optimism in Heidelberg, Pat.  Our biggest risk at present might be a premature attempt to return to the Good Ol' Days of human interaction.  Earlier we mentioned that Singapore is redoubling its lockdown measures.  Japan is following suit.  For some historical perspective, the 1918-'19 pandemic came in distinct waves, with the second worse than the first.



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