Italians love freedom too, Mattarella says in reply to Johnson

But seriousness is dear to us as well, says president

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 24 - Italian President Sergio Mattarella said Thursday that the Italian people cherish freedom as much as any other nation after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently put the UK's rising COVID-19 infection rates down to the country's superior love of liberty.
    "We Italians love freedom too," Mattarella told reporters during a visit to the Sardinian city of Sassari when asked about Johnson's comments.
    "But seriousness is dear to us as well".
    When asked in parliament on Tuesday why Germany and Italy were doing better at containing the virus, Johnson said: "there is an important difference between our country and many other countries around the world: our country is a freedom-loving country.
    "If we look at the history of this country over the past 300 years, virtually every advance, from free speech to democracy, has come from this country," he continued.
    "It is difficult to ask the British population to uniformly obey guidelines in the way that is necessary". (ANSA).


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