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'Orange Vests' or 'Gilet Arancioni' movement has staged a protest rally against government action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The leader, former Carabinieri general Antonio Pappalardo, said the COVID-19 pandemic did not exist, CNBC reported.

“The pandemic does not exist, it’s total bulls---,” Pappalardo said, Italian news agency ANSA reported. “The coronavirus is not lethal, it only kills the already sick over 80s. Enough with the lies and falsehoods, you have terrified the Italian people.”

Related demonstrations took place in Milan and other regional capitals at the weekend. Speaking in Rome's Piazza del Popolo, Pappalardo made the same statements, citing a senior doctor who said this weekend that the virus 'no longer exists clinically'. 

“Now virologists also say that this coronavirus is nonsense,” Pappalardo told the crowd. Besides, Pappalardo called for Italy to return to using its former currency - the lira.

According to La Repubblica newspaper, people who were dissatisfied with the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis - as many citizens lost their jobs - as well as some far-right activists and euroskeptics were among the protesters.

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