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Meloni plans investigation into handling of Covid pandemic

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s party has moved to set up a commission of inquiry into the previous government’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, with at least one opposition party also backing an investigation.

Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy (FdI), is reportedly working to form a commission with populist Matteo Salvini’s League (Lega), with the FdI formalizing a proposed inquiry earlier this week.

The bill introduced by Meloni’s party is said to be identical to another bill that failed to pass last year, when the FdI was much weaker in the Italian legislature.

The inquiry will seek to examine the failures of the previous government, which included a lack of preparation as well as communication problems between various institutions, The Giornale reports.

According to the newspaper, the commission would take place over a maximum of 18 months and would involve 20 senators and 20 members of the Chamber of Deputies.

So far, former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, leader of Italy’s Viva party, has expressed interest in a possible commission, but has been reluctant to have a member of his party chair it.

“The Covid inquiry commission should be led by one of the Brothers from Italy, not one of ours,” Renzi said. “I have every interest in having the Commission but if I must be intellectually honest it is fairer than those who were in opposition [during the pandemic] direct it.

Italy has seen one of the most restrictive approaches to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic in Europe, particularly in the early months of 2020 when the country saw a spike in deaths and was placed in lockdown.

While lockdowns were eventually eased, Italy continued to take a restrictive approach following the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, with vaccine passports becoming mandatory for everything from train and plane travel to dining in restaurants and using public transport until restrictions were lifted earlier this year with the state of emergency that had been in place since 2020.

The pandemic was initially handled by the second government of former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, an alliance of the left-wing populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Left Democrats (PD).

However, after the fall of the Conte government last year, a so-called government of national unity led by former prime minister and European technocrat Mario Draghi governed the country for the remainder of the pandemic.

This government included all the major parties in Italy – with the exception of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)


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