Sunday, 18 May 2008

Italy's government encourages racism

It seems that European xenophobia is not limited to people from predominately-Muslim countries...

Sixty-eight per cent of Italians, fuelled by often inflammatory attacks by the new rightwing government, want to see all of the country's 150,000 Gypsies, many of them Italian citizens, expelled, according to an opinion poll.

The survey, published as mobs in Naples burned down Gypsy camps this week, revealed that the majority also wanted all Gypsy camps in Italy to be demolished .

About 70,000 Gypsies in Italy hold Italian passports, including about 30,000 descended from 15th-century Gypsy settlers in the country. The remainder have arrived since, many fleeing the Balkans during the 1990s.
In a second poll, 81% of Italian respondents said they found all Gypsies, Romanian or not, "barely likeable or not likeable at all", a greater number than the 64% who said they felt the same way about non-Gypsy Romanians.

Many Gypsies are as entitled legally to live in Italy as 'ethnic' Italians, making this extreme xenophobia and racism all the more alarming. The government has made immigration rules harsher as it takes a swing to the right.

Italy will only get worse under its reelected, corrupt media-mogul leader Silvio Berlusconi.

No comments: