Matteo Salvini, the League leader, became a new interior minister a couple of weeks ago. One of his recent measures is a census of Roma people, that step caused a stir among the Italians, many of them said far-right’s leader reminds them Mussolini.
Italy’s new interior minister clarified his position, insisting he was not proposing a register after all. No fingerprints would be taken, merely a survey of Roma camps to protect the thousands of children prevented from going to school. But United Nations human rights official Birgit Van Hout condemned Salvini’s comments.
“One does not stop to be a human being because one is born outside the European Union, and therefore everybody is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect,”
Ms Van Hout told after Salvini announced to set the stage for deportations of the ethnic group from Rome.
The Italian politicians also expressed their views of right-wing’s policy regarding the migrants.
“The way is short from a census to a concentration camp. Salvini apparently decided to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the racial laws,”
Chiara Gribaudo, a deputy from the centre-left Democratic Party said, referencing the Mussolini era.
Nowadays, Rome is the multinational city that accumulated plenty of ethnic groups, about 150,000 people of different nationalities live in the eternal city. And around half have Italian citizenship, many come from Romania and the former Yugoslavia in the 90s.
Interior minister Salvini’s moves come as Austria’s right-wing chancellor Sebastian Kurz called for an anti-migration “axis” to be formed with Austria, Germany and Italy last week.
In fact, Italians have an overwhelmingly negative view of Roma, according to a survey published in 2016 by the Pew Research Center. Some 82% of those questioned were unfavourable to Roma, far higher than other European countries.