12:35 GMT23 January 2021
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    Greta Thunberg’s popularity has reached such levels that she remains in the spotlight even when she hasn’t done or said anything. This time it happened in Venice, Italy, which has recently been hit by severe flooding.

    Italians are incensed at a meme featuring climate activist Greta Thunberg in flood-stricken Venice. The 16-year-old was photoshopped into a picture of flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, where the climate activist stands waist-deep in water wearing a yellow coat with a challenging look on her face and a caption reading "I told you so".

    ​Netizens were outraged when the meme created by Luca Fancellu was retweeted by popular channel Spinoza, with some social media users saying that this is not the time for jokes.

    Tweet: “You can also avoid sarcasm with such a dramatic situation”

    ​Tweet: “It is not funny, you idiots

    ​Other users lambasted the authorities for failing to protect the city and its citizens. The so-called Mose Project, designed to shield the city from flooding using large barriers, has been underway since 2003. It has cost Venetians billions of euros and has been marred by scandals and delays.

    ​Despite the recent flooding having caused enormous damage worth hundreds of millions of euros and resulting in the deaths of two people it is not the worst in Italy’s history. A 1966 flood saw water levels rise to 1.94 metres, something that was mentioned by a few users, who also cautioned against stirring up hysteria about climate change.

    Tweet: “Some would say same level as in 1966.

    ​Well, "Acqua Alta" in Venice is a very common event.
    Shame on you for trying to drive clima hysterics with it. pic.twitter.com/P6fHriImnv

    ​Venice has recently been hit by its worst flooding in 50 years, with waters peaking at 1.87 metres. Pictures posted online show water swamping centuries-old buildings, including the iconic Saint Mark’s Basilica. Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said the city is “on its knees” and put the blame on climate change for the natural disaster.

    Italy, Venice, floods, climate change, Greta Thunberg, global warming
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