Economist Michele Geraci, former Undersecretary of State at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, slammed some Italian Non-profit Organizations that are reportedly mulling a lawsuit against China over the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Oneurope Non-profit Organization filed a class-action suit against China, claiming that China failed to react to the pandemic promptly in violation of WHO Obligations.
Geraci pointed out that the Italian Government, instead of China, is directly responsible for the spread of the pandemic in Italy. “They should sue Italian Government,” he told in an exclusive interview on Friday.
The damage that Italy is incurring due to the virus is largely because Italy failed to take quick actions at the appropriate time, Geraci said.
Italy learned about the seriousness of COVID-19 in mid-January when it still had time to take measures, but it didn’t, Geraci said. “We need to be responsible and say it’s our own fault, not other people’s fault,” he added.
Geraci, a leading promoter of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by China and Italy in 2019 to jointly advance the construction of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), was one of the then high-level officials in Europe familiar with Chinese Affairs.
Geraci said he doesn’t think the Italian government will involve itself in the lawsuit farce like the US State of Missouri, which sued the Chinese Government over its handling of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
“I would be completely against Italian government to do this,” he said, adding that it (suing China) is not a smart idea.
Geraci criticized the individuals and organizations that attempt to blame China for the pandemic, saying they are living in the novel that “needs a monster to blame for the problems.”
He also lashed out at some Italian media for their biased coverage on China, as well as several European politicians, who tried to evade responsibility by blaming China or other countries for the global crisis. “Few in Italian government really know about China,” he said.
Geraci suggested Chinese people not to care too much about Italian politicians’ attacks on China, which are aimed at pleasing their domestic voters.
“The vast majority of the public opinion in Italy does not agree with (the attacks),” he said.
Geraci thinks these so-called lawsuits against China won’t hurt Sino-Italian relations much. He wants to let the Chinese government and companies know that no matter what they have heard from some Italian politicians or organizations, “the people and companies in Italy are actually willing to do business with their Chinese counterparts as much as before.”
The signing of MOU on BRI contributed to the positive momentum in the relationship between Italy and China. Geraci believes that the two countries will have everlasting cooperation in various aspects after the pandemic, including the exchange of students and research fellows.