The government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi is pursuing its plan to fingerprint each and every Roma living in Italy as part of his program to end crime. Rome’s city officials and the Red Cross began a census of the city’s Roma population, but would not participate in any fingerprinting of the people. Red Cross personnel are handling the Rome census in order to reassure Romas they are not being targeted for any police action. Rome Prefect Carlo Mosca, the government’s top security official for the city, says he is skeptical of mass fingerprinting. he assured the press Gypsies will not be fingerprinted unless thee is suspicion they may have committed a crime. “When there is suspicion of a crime… fingerprints can be taken as for any Italian.” However, other cities like Naples have been more aggressive and all Gypsies are being fingerprinted.
Among the nations of the world, Italy has long endured the legacy of its Mafia heritage which is undoubtedly alive and well not only in Sicily but in other parts of the nation. Mafia leaders live in the open and are known to local police. Will the police initiate a fingerprint campaign for all members of the Mafia?
The last Italian election witnessed a dramatic victory for those who want to get rid of immigrants who they claim are the cause of crime in the nation. The coalition government of Silvio Berlusconi promised to crackdown on immigrants and supposedly replace them with good Italian workers. Unfortunately, after the rhetoric, the nation awoke to the reality that immigrants constitute an important component of the workforce. It appears the hundreds of thousands of those “unwanted immigrants” clean Italian middle class houses, they pick up the garbage and care for children while mom and pop are out making money to afford a nice lifestyle. It is estimated in Rome alone, about 100,000 foreigners care for the old and disabled and are most probably in Italy without proper credentials.
It is estimated there are about 3.5 million immigrants in a nation of 58 million people. The largest contingent of immigrants are Romanians and they tend to be the target of most anger because it is alleged Romas are responsible for crime even though there are no accurate records as to the percent of crime caused by this group of immigrants.
The new coalition is now toning down its record as they realize it is easy to shout during an election to rid the nation of immigrants but difficult to carry out the threat when there are not enough native born Italians to pick up the work slack. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, who probably shouted the loudest in denouncing immigrants, is now saying they will only jail newcomers and leave alone those already in Italy.
Silvio Berlusconi bought himself another electoral victory in Italy because the nation is simply tired of politicians and decided to go along with a right wing egomaniac as the best of all possible choices. Center-Left leader, Walter Veltroni conceded defeat as his party garned 38.2% of the vote to the victor’s 44.9%. It appears at first glance that Berlusconi will be able to govern without relying on votes from smaller parties, but the confusing pattern of voting in Italy sometimes leads to unexpected results when voting is completed for the lower house of parliament. The Northern League Party, which is allied with Berlusconi, scored a rather impressive showing due to its strident anti-immigrant platform.
One piece of news tht helped doom Veltroni was a European Union report which indicates the Spanish economy has now surpassed that of Italy. The question is whether Berlusconi could stimulate the Italian economy even though the last time in office he failed at that effort. When all is said and done, the Italian people were disgusted by their choices and went for a famous man who has money and could use his control over media to get across his message.