Thursday, 4 September 2008

Italian mayors enforce law and order

City police in Adro have been promised 500 euros for every illegal immigrant they arrest; Assisi has forbidden begging outside its churches; Rome has started cleaning up (and clearing out) its gypsy camps. Across Italy, new brooms are sweeping away illegal and semi-legal practices, mainly by immigrants, which have grown up over recent years and which the new right-wing government has promised to stamp out. Some of the measures are being taken by the city authorities.

Much of the trouble comes from gypsies who have migrated to Western Europe, especially Italy, from Romania and Bulgaria since the enlargement of the EU in 2007. The new Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, has encouraged the development of “mayor-sheriffs”. On 5th August he signed a governmental decree which gives mayors powers to act against prostitution, drug trafficking, begging (especially by children), drinking in public and outrages committed against public decency.

In Rome, the new Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, is going to give the municipal police guns and tell them to stop people begging and stop windscreen-washers at red lights. But it is not just the right which is getting tough on law and order; left-wing mayors have also acted against gypsy camps, for instance in Vicenza. Indeed, it was a left-wing city, Florence, which originally forbade windscreen-washers. In Verona, the Mayor, who is from the Northern League, has forbidden begging and any beggars caught will have their money confiscated and will get a 100 euro fine. In Assisi, the Mayor has forbidden people from begging outside churches. [Salvatore Aloïse, Le Monde, 13 August 2008]

-- From The European Journal. Sign up for FREE to John Laughland's 'Intelligence Digest' to find out what’s really happening in Europe --

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