'Let's not kid ourselves!' Matteo Salvini rejects Macron's 'madness' health pass plan

Macron outlines ambition for France to be a ‘framework nation’

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The leader of the right-wing Italian party Lega told reporters on Thursday that Italy should not follow Emmanuel Macron‘s model on vaccine health pass requirements. The French President this week announced sweeping measures to fight a rapid surge in new coronavirus infections, including the mandatory vaccination of health workers and new health pass rules for the wider public.

In doing so, he went further than most other European nations as the highly contagious Delta variant fans a new wave of cases, and other governments are watching carefully to see how the French public responds.

In Italy, Mr Salvini promptly rejected the draconian measures.

He said: “Emmanuel Macron’s model is not a model.

“The obligation, the constraint, to ask for the green pass for those who take the bus or have a coffee is out of the question.

“Vaccine, swab or green pass to enter bars and restaurants?

“Let’s not kid ourselves.

emmanuel macron matteo salvini france italy health pass

Emmanuel Macron’s health pass proposal were rejected by Matteo Salvini (Image: GETTY)

emmanuel macron health pass france covid

Emmanuel Macron introduced new tough measures against coronavirus (Image: GETTY)

“What does Draghi think? Ask him, but neither I nor him like extreme choices, let’s put it this way.

“Obviously it will be necessary to respect the rules for situations of large gathering.

“The vaccine must be a conscious choice not an obligation.

“It can be explained, but I won’t chase anyone on the street, school or restaurant with a syringe.”

Fratelli d’Italia leader, Giorgia Meloni, also rejected the proposals.

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She blasted: “The idea of using the green pass to be able to participate in social life is chilling.

“It is the last step towards the realisation of an Orwellian society.

“An unconstitutional madness that Fratelli d’Italia strongly rejects.

“For us, individual freedom is sacred and inviolable.”

Dozens of French police used tear gas to disperse a protest against President Macron’s plan to require a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or negative PCR test to gain entry to bars, restaurants and cinemas from next month.

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France: Protesters clashed with police in Paris (Image: GETTY)

The police stepped in shortly after scores of protesters marched down a boulevard in central Paris on Wednesday without permission from the Paris authorities. Some wore badges saying “No to the health pass”.

Some critics of Mr Macron’s plan – which will require shopping malls, cafes, bars and restaurants to check the health passes of all patrons from August – accuse the president of trampling on freedoms and discriminating against those who do not want the Covid shot.

President Macron says the vaccine is the best way to put France back on the path to normalcy and that he is encouraging as many people as possible to get inoculated.

Wednesday’s protest took place on Bastille Day, the anniversary of the 1789 storming of a medieval fortress in Paris which marked the turning point in the French Revolution.

Among other proposals in the government’s draft bill is the mandatory isolation for 10 days of anyone who tests positive, with police making random checks, French media reported.

The prime minister’s office did not respond when asked to confirm the detail.

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