A popular – and controversial – Italian Right-Wing Leader, Matteo Salvini, has criticized the idea of vaccine passports, and added that he does not think that people younger than 40 years old needed to be vaccinated against the Chinese virus, contrary to the official position by the Italian government and the advice given by the World Health Organization.
The newspaper Il Giornale reported on Salvini’s comments, saying that the leader criticized the idea of vaccine passports, known as a “Green Pass,” noting that it would be unfair to many people and that many would be disadvantaged given that Italy is taking so long to roll out vaccines.
“If we want the Green Pass for everyone, at the moment, it would take until the end of October, blowing up the [summer] season and the holidays. That would be devastating. And useless,” Salvini said.
Salvini is currently the leader of Lega Nord, a right-wing populist party; known as “League” in English. The Lega leader said that in some cases, such as attending a concert or a stadium with thousands of people it might be acceptable to require it, but he said it would be an extreme measure to require the Green Pass to go on a train or to a restaurant.
Trenitalia, Italy’s primary train operator, has considered forcing people to present a Green Pass aboard the high-speed trains so that it can return to 100-percent capacity, since it is currently running at 50 percent.
“We can secure parents and grandparents without punishing grandchildren and children,” Salvini continued and claimed that 85 per cent of coronavirus deaths in Italy had been people over 70. For those under 60, the mortality rate is less than one per cent, he asserted.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the deaths between 10 and 29 years have been 85 — that is to say, 0.1 per cent,” he said.
His comments, however, oppose Mario Draghi’s, Italy’s Prime Minister, who has urged as many Italians as possible to get vaccinated, “It is fundamental that people get vaccinated,” and added, “The worst thing you could do is not get vaccinated, or just get one vaccine shot.”
Meanwhile, in neighbouring France, the government of President Emmanuel Macron has mandated that certain business owners must check for vaccine passports, or they could face €45,000 (£38,487/$53,1000) fines and a year in prison; a move which resulted in massive protests with hundreds of thousands of people congregating in Paris against the medical imposition.