It seems that the notion of European solidarity, in times of need, is a mirage. According to a document obtained by Agi – and which summarizes a teleconference this week between the ministers of health of the 27 member states of the European Union – Italy has asked its European “allies” for additional respirators.
The Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, asked the Italian government to express “an urgent request” to the other EU executives for respirators as the health system of the northern regions face the risk of collapse.
However, Italy’s cry for help has been ignored. The confidential document, in fact, expressly noted that “none of the delegations responded to Italy’s request, which prompted Commissioner Breton to return to the question”.
European states also turned their backs on Italy in late February, when the Italian government asked EU member states to provide protective masks. Germany instead took the decision to stop exporting masks immediately.
On 28 February the EU Commission confirmed Italy’s request to activate the Civil Protection Mechanism precisely to encourage the supply of these essential objects in hospitals and beyond. But no one responded: “We ask for responsibility, solidarity and coordinated European action”, Commissioner Breton wrote on Twitter. Unfortunately, he was ignored.
An Italian health worker wrote on Facebook this week: “Today the ICUs in Lombardy are at capacity – more than capacity. They have begun to put ICU units in the hallways. If the numbers do not go down, the growth rate of contagion tells us that there will be thousands of people who in a matter of a week? two weeks? Who will need care. What will happen when there are 100, or a 1000 people who need the hospital and only a few ICU places left?
“On Monday a doctor wrote in the paper that they have begun to have to decide who lives and who dies when the patients show up in the emergency room, like what is done in war. This will only get worse. […]
“And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients – 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment.”