Press analysis says that the crisis the world is experiencing due to the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic (coronavirus) has revealed the fragility of the relationship between European Union countries, at a time when Italy is powerless in the face of the horror and rapid spread of the virus across the country.
Yesterday, Saturday, Italian President Sergio Mattarella stated that "Europe needs new initiatives," noting that "the old approaches must stop because they have not worked with developments and the current reality."
Matarella pointed out that he hoped that everyone would act before coronavirus invaded all of Europe.
China has recovered somewhat, which has put the United States at the top in terms of the numbers of infected cases, followed by Italy, China, Spain, Germany, France, Iran and the United Kingdom.
In the United States, the virus has infected 124,000 people, 2,229 of which have died. Up to 92,000 infections and 10,023 deaths were reported in Italy, while the total number of cases in China was 81,439 infections and 3,300 deaths, according to data from the international Worldometer platform for statistics.
Last week, footage was published on social media in Italy expressing the extent of the Italians' indignation at Europe and Western countries for their inability to provide assistance to them, at a time when the epidemic is spreading in the country like wildfire, sweeping most parts of the European continent.
Italian citizens say that Europe has refrained from providing the simplest aid to them in light of the crisis which destroyed the Italian economy, even at the level of providing "simple masks", while the country received aid from non-European countries, according to the video.
Russian aid came at a crucial time for Italy, which has good relations with Moscow and supported the lifting of sanctions, while European Union countries have been slow to help a member state of the European bloc.
Last Sunday, the Russian Ministry of Defense released several daily figures after the first aircraft arrived in Italy, bringing with it around hundred virologists with medical equipment, mobile laboratories, and sterilization units. Likewise, China and Cuba also sent medical experts and equipment to Italy.
This aid comes in light of the European Union's split over a possible rescue plan for the region's economy. Germany has warned of illogical expectations, while Italy, France, and Spain are calling for major aid.
For his part, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio announced that his country is "awaiting loyalty from European partners" in the face of the economic crisis resulting from the coronavirus epidemic.
Di Maio indicated that northern European countries, including Germany, had refused to set up a comprehensive lending mechanism in the Eurozone. "Sweet words do nothing for us," he said.
According to Stephen Erlanger, a writer for the New York Times, the virus "tests European cohesion and alliances and is a crucial test of democracy in Europe."
Paul Adamson, founder of Encompass magazine, claimed that "European values, solidarity and adhesion look like hollow phrases, and the virus has not even reached its peak yet."
"The European Union should not say that it is ready to help us if we accept the old tools some countries experienced 10 years ago without much success," said Di Maio. "This is not a good thing," he added.