Salvini wants Roma census

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of the far-right Lega Nord wants to carry out a census of all Roma living in the country and expel those without an Italian passport. Prime Minister Conte of the Movimento Cinque Stelle and EU Commission have countered that such a move is anti-constitutional. Journalists are incensed and hope that the provocateurs in Rome won't win out.

Open/close all quotes
Jutarnji list (HR) /

Italy's government overstepping all the limits

The announced census and expulsion of Roma in Italy is an unthinkable move as far as Jutarnji list is concerned:

“It would be simply monstrous to count the Roma and then 'expel the foreign Roma and unfortunately keep the Italian ones' [as Salvini has announced]. If you start with this kind of thing, where will it end? Will the blacks and the Muslims be the next targets? ... The census will be a provocation if it isn't carried out, a humiliation if it is, and if it leads to the expulsion even of only the 'foreign' Roma, most of whom are EU citizens, it will be a crime. ... We all thought history couldn't be repeated - the Italian government is proving us wrong.”

El País (ES) /

Unprecedented since Mussolini's day

The discrimination that the census and expulsion of Roma would entail reminds El País of the darkest chapter in Italy's past. In its leading article the paper writes:

“Nothing similar has occurred in Italy since the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini passed his racial laws in 1938. This proposal is so grievous that Italy's Jewish community has officially protested and Brussels has reminded Salvini that Italy is obliged to respect EU laws, including those that pertain to the rule of law. ... The migration crisis is a fruitful issue for extremists, but the political leaders must be aware that there are lines which no democracy should cross. And Salvini has done so.”

La Stampa (IT) /

Conte and the EU must sort it out

La Stampa still hopes that the affair will take a turn for the better:

“There are two pieces of good news for all those who fear that we'll spend the summer with bated breath waiting for Salvini's next statement - yesterday it was about the migrants, today it's the Roma, tomorrow, who knows. The first is that the time for announcements is over. Eight days from now the European Council will convene to discuss immigration and refugees, the economic developments and the protection of our savings. ... The second piece of good news consists in our prime minister's attitude towards this summit. He is not using propaganda to pin all the blame for the failures on Europe. He is intent on returning home with a few concrete results.”