Harvesters: Italy's modern slaves

Debate over the slave-like working conditions of African and Eastern European agricultural workers has reignited in Italy after 16 harvest workers perished in two car crashes. Hundreds of farm workers have taken to the streets in protest, and the government has announced that it will crack down on illegal harvesting. The press sees the need for action, and not just in Italy.

Open/close all quotes
Huffington Post Italia (IT) /

A label for fair products is needed

Alfredo Luis Somoza, head of the Institute for International Economic Cooperation ICEI, calls in Huffingtonpost Italia for a new seal of quality for products:

“Not a PDO [protected designation of origin] or an PGI [protected geographical indication], but a label that guarantees that employees and the environment are treated correctly. The empty rhetoric of - purported - star cooks who are always praising the mythical 'territory' and superiority of 'Italian' products over those from the rest of the world obscures the practices of a type of agriculture that is prospering thanks to unscrupulous exploitation of workers and the use of banned substances.”

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Bucharest must protect Romanians from traffickers

The Romanian service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reminds readers that between 2005 and 2007 the Romanian government showed PR films in Italy to improve the image of Romanian immigrants:

“In the meantime the authorities have been able to intervene convincingly, particularly as the idea is to prevent hundreds or even thousands of Romanians from falling into the hands of human traffickers. When the government was still trying to boost emigration - speculating above all on the money the emigrants would send back home, which for years had compensated for state budget deficits - they knew what was to be done and made an effort to do it. But when it pursues the opposite goal, namely preventing emigration, it seems it doesn't want to do a thing.”