The coup d'etat of the coronavirus

(To David Rossi)

The army chief of staff, the leader of the Democrats and some governors have been put out of action. The press and the judiciary seem prone to the wishes of the new "master". MPs are too afraid of the threat and avoid attending assemblies. The ministers, like new carbonari, hide and communicate only from a distance. The chief executive fears for his own safety. The Catholic Church withdrew to the catacombs and ceased to publicly administer the sacraments and to call the faithful to a meeting. COVID-19 has occupied the most productive areas of the country and launches increasingly convinced attacks throughout the territory. The capital itself seems on the verge of falling. Its strength is so great and devastating that even the major European cities seem defenseless in its passage.

We are governed, not only in Italy, by characters in search of an author, during a scene reminiscent of the fall of the barbarians or the last days of Berlin in 1945, but ... even if De Gasperi, Count Cavour, the chancellor returned from the dead Bismarck, General De Gaulle and Abraham Lincoln, also all together would struggle to make decisions. The enemy is unpredictable and therefore invincible, at least playing under current conditions, a bit like Napoleon for the armies of theancien regime.

What happened during the night is a unicum in the history of Italy and a very serious precedent for the rule of law in Italy and throughout Europe. Warning: we do not blame the government, but the invincible forces of COVID-19. The constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of almost a third of the voting citizens were limited by a simple decree of the Prime Minister, without any parliamentary passage by a majority (more than) qualified, for the simple fact that deputies and senators are more frightened by the contagion than by the need to sanction the legitimacy of an act of the Government. If they weren't terrified of COVID-19, probably some newspapers, prosecutors and political leaders would talk about an obvious case of attack on the Constitution, Of a coup d'etat: however, its authors are not the ministers of a small small government, but germs invisible to the naked eye, which have shattered our certainties and established the dominance of the tiny over the large.

Never and for no reason, not even at the time of the Spanish flu epidemic (photo), limitations of similar magnitude had been imposed, in fact the forced homecoming with the signing obligation for millions and millions of Italians, with the sword of Damocles of the "penalty" for each violation, with a justification that smacks of compulsory mass medical treatment. A thing that from the legal point of view looks like a monster and that from the scientific point of view is only an experiment to limit the damage, given that soon the number of infected people in Italy will approach the Chinese one. Could it be because since February 21 we - and a few other States - have been doing thousands of swabs and tests a day, while countries like the United States, Turkey, Japan and Russia have limited themselves to telling tales useful for continuing to do business, business as usual?

The reader knows that we consider COVID-19 to be the greatest challenge to all humanity in recent centuries and that WHO calls for extraordinary measures. Yet what is too legal from a legal point of view, from a scientific point of view it already promises to be too little. Yeah, why what is being imposed on us had already been deemed useless by the Chinese: in the province of Hubei, the People's Republic has forced citizens into their homes, has stopped public transport, has forced millions of people to wear gloves and masks when leaving, and only in this way has it achieved (very) appreciable results.

Those who believe in the usefulness of such a measure, too drastic for the Italian rule of law and too lax from the Chinese point of view, should ask themselves a few simple questions:

  • Have you not noticed the flight of hundreds of thousands of citizens and residents from the affected areas in the center-south, with the risk of bringing the epidemic with you? The criminal ineptitude of those who have favored the leakage of information from within the executive does the same only with the cowardice of those who have approved it, perhaps staying comfortably at home connected by videoconference, because you never know ...

  • Even if it worked for us, with Switzerland, France, Germany and Spain all around Italy and close to proving, like and worse than Northern Italy, infected sponges infected, it does not believe that in a short time, with the so frequent connections in our day, would the infection return without finding obstacles?

  • Even if you do not consider it an attack on the Italian constitution, do you really not notice the violation of European law, in particular the freedom of transit of people? If it is an emergency, the European Union and Schengen states should act consistently.

  • Are the recessionary effects and the impact on the country system sustainable, also considering that the country will have to spend a lot on the health sector in the next 24 months? In fact, the two most developed regions, the heart of industry, finance, quality agriculture, the auto industry, logistics and technology are frozen. Will it beat again as before after?

  • He does not think that the very few tests done in the southern regions do not justify the blissful certainty that they are, so to speak, safer than the rest of the country?

  • Given the tremendous limitations and justification of the principle of national salvation, Is it not to be considered necessary and urgent, not deferred for two months, for the passage of the same decree in Parliament for a double vote of the chambers by a larger majority than that of the executive? Sorry for the terror that the contagion causes in parliamentarians, but this would represent an important sign of solidarity in the country.

Despite all its shortcomings, we believed the Italian legal system immune from the need to resort to "special laws" to handle major emergencies: the COVID-19 did what the strategy of tension, the years of lead, the mafia massacres and Islamic terrorism have not even come close to doing, bending the seemingly solid republican institutions like a rush. So, one realizes that the United States, Russia and Turkey are terrified of opening the Pandora's box of coronavirus, doing thousands of tests like us, South Korea, Iran and few others: they are even less certain of the strength of their systems.

Mala tempora currunt ...

Photo: presidency of the council of ministers / web