Oct 27, 2020
Italy Burns as Protesters Riot Against Second COVID Lockdown
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Thousands of angry Italians took to the streets of Turin, Milan, Naples, Palermo, and Rome on Monday night to protest the early closing of bars and restaurants and the shuttering of gyms and theaters as the country slips further into chaos as it tries to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In Cremona, restaurant owners banged pots and pans in front of the local police station, leaving them arranged like a graveyard to protest what they say is the death of their businesses after the government ordered all bars and restaurants closed at 6 p.m. until Nov. 24. In Pesaro, police raided a popular restaurant that defied the 6 p.m. curfew and served 90 clients. The owner streamed the raid on social media as he told police they could go ahead and arrest him, but he had promised the patrons a full meal, including dessert.
In Catania on the island of Sicily, protesters threw paper bombs at the local police station and in Viareggio, demonstrators blocked traffic and threw rocks at police who tried to move them. Stores were gutted in central Turin and more than a dozen people were arrested across the country as police used tear gas against the mostly maskless masses.
The anger was sparked by a new government order that came into effect at midnight Sunday instituting restrictive measures meant to stave off another draconian lockdown—though almost no one believes that it will work.
Anger is also bubbling up against the current government by opposition political parties and ministers who question why entities like museums and elementary schools are allowed to stay open but theaters and gyms are not. Former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose party is part of the ruling coalition, demanded that the current Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte “reopen everything,” demanding the scientific proof that closing restaurants at 6 p.m. while leaving museums and other entities open would stop the spread.
The leader of the Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, called for cohesion among the ruling coalition, reminding Renzi and others that infighting is counterproductive. “People’s lives are at stake,” he said Monday night. “Italians expect seriousness and authority from those with government responsibilities. The enemy is the virus, not the rules.”
News Source: thedailybeast.com
Greece sets price limit on COVID-19 tests at private clinics
Private medical clinics and hospitals had been charging about 70-120 euros ($84-$143) for PCR tests and around 40 euros for the rapid tests.
“The government from the start has set as an absolute priority the protection of public health, and citizens’ access to this. Both are non-negotiable for us,” Stamboulidis said during a regular government briefing on the course of the pandemic.
A draft bill will be brought to parliament in coming days to allow for the limits, he said.
Stamboulis said that while the Greek government supports “practices of healthy competition,” it has an obligation to intervene at a time when most of the retail sector and large segments of the economy are shut due to a coronavirus-related lockdown.
Many individuals and businesses are using virus tests as a means of preventing the spread of COVID-19, he said.
Authorities said Friday that Greece was still seeing a high level of infections, particularly in some areas in the north and west, despite a nationwide lockdown imposed on Nov. 7. The government announced Thursday that it was extending the lockdown, which had been due to expire at the end of November, by one week to Dec. 7.
Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias said talk of what measures might be in place during Christmas was “premature at the moment.”
Greece, which has a population of about 11 million, has reported over 101,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 2,100 virus-related deaths.
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