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Italy: Police clear Roma camp despite EU ruling requesting delay

Italy: Police clear Roma camp despite EU ruling requesting delay

Italy’s new government is known for its hard line on migrants, among them are many members of the minority Roma community. On Thursday, police cleared nearly 400 people from a shanty camp inhabited for years gipsies, despite an EU court allowed halting demolition, TheLocal reported.

Italian authorities clear out squatter camps like Camping River where many live on the outskirts of big cities but these regular measures have no effect, people are coming back. On Thursday, police took another action to clear Roma camp while its residents stood outside the camp with mattresses and other belongings piled alongside vehicles, some protesting against the move with chants of “Racists!”

Police commander Antonio Di Maggio denied the claims that policemen used force during the eviction. Mayor Virginia Raggi explained on Facebook that parts of the camp had been without electricity and running water, so the shantytown called Camping River on Rome’s northern periphery was closed for hygiene reasons.

Ms Raggi added that clearing Roma camp is just meant to provide greater protection to the Roma, especially minors, some of whom do not attend school, do not work, do not pay taxes but takes social money from the government every month.

Mateo Salvini’s another victory

Many think that the eviction is a victory for Matteo Salvini, the Italian interior minister and leader of the far-right League party, who has long campaigned against Roma people. Salvini’s strategy reportedly includes a plan for all “unregistered” Roma camps to be closed down, while in June interior minister called for a census of the community to be carried out.

“Finally, the eviction at the Camping River Roma camp in Rome is underway. Legality, order and respect before everything!”

he wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

Earlier, Matteo Salvini belittled the intervention by the European court of human rights (ECHR), writing on Twitter:

“All we needed was the do-goodism of the European Court of Roma Rights.”