During the recent parliamentary elections in Italy, Silvio Berlusconi and his allies campaigned on a program to act tought toward immgrants and to get rid of them. Last m onths, thousands greeted mayor Gianni Allemanno of Rome with Fascist salutes and a mob firebombed a Gypsy camp near Naples. On Saturday, in a ten minute blitz, a group of between 10 and 20 masked men attacked a food shop owned by an Indian migrant and two stores owned by those from Bangladesh. The Pigneto neighborhood has a reputation for peace co-exitence between people of divergent backgrounds, but the Berlusconi encouragement of anger toward foreigners undoubtedly played a role in fostering this hateful action.
Interior Minister Roberto Marconi of the anti-immigrant Northern league Party which is allied with Berlusconi commented: “Italy is not a racist country. Episodes of this kind are sometimes enflamed by crimes committed by illegal immigrants.” Naturally in Berlusconi Italy, victims are the culprits, not those who assault. Italy lived through twenty-five years of Mussolini Fascism, and it will work its way through this latest ugliness.