‘Peace or Air Con’ – Italy’s Prime Minister tells people to cut energy consumption to help Kiev

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was ridiculed for saying that Italians can choose peace in Ukraine or use their air conditioners in the summer.

At a press conference in Rome after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Draghi said he thought an embargo on Russian gas by the European Union unlikely, but that Italy would “follow the decisions of the European Union”.

However, the former boss of the European Central Bank called on his compatriots to join in by limiting their energy consumption to keep the price of natural gas lower, keeping Russia’s profits low.

“Do we want to have peace?” [in Ukraine] or do we want the air conditioning on?” questioned the Italian leader in comments reported Thursday by the ANSA news agency.

Draghi tried to reassure the public by claiming that Italy — heavily dependent on Russian gas imports — has enough gas reserves to last until October, even if Moscow cut off supplies.

However, there has been discussion by some, including the mayor of Rome, about the possibility of gas rationing in the summer.

In an editorial in the Milan-based conservative newspaper Il Giornaledeputy editor Francesco Maria Del Vigo said Draghi’s comments have “rightly” sparked widespread ridicule and memes in Italy.

In a popular post, a woman posted a video of an air conditioner turning on and playing the Russian national anthem:

Del Vigo said it was justified to criticize Draghi’s comments “not because the problem is not serious, but because the question is misplaced: if Italy has a problem of energy dependency, it is certainly not the fault of Italians and they can handle it.” not just solve it.” †

He said it is both comical and unnerving that a government that “never considers the individuality of its citizens” realizes the importance of the individual only “in the face of a war”.

“A continent dramatically lacking an army now wants to fool itself by militarizing the most banal everyday gestures,” wrote Del Vigo.

Draghi is not alone in the EU calling on citizens to shorten their lives. Last week, European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager called on people to take shorter showers, saying: “If you turn off the water, say ‘Take that, Putin!'”

In March, the International Energy Agency also said Europeans should lower their thermostats to reduce reliance on Russian gas.

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