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A shameful pogrom against the Gypsies

A new right-wing mood in Italy is leading us

Marco ImarisioCorriere della Sera

A new right-wing mood in Italy is leading us “back to the Middle Ages,” said Marco Imarisio in the Milan Corriere della Sera. The newly elected government has been breathing fire against immigrants, blaming them for fueling a crime wave. Not surprisingly, then, a new poll shows that an astonishing 68 percent of Italians want all 150,000 Gypsies, or Roma—many of them Italian citizens themselves—to be expelled from the country. Such attitudes have spilled over into violence. A couple of weeks ago, after a woman in a Naples suburb accused a 16-year-old Roma girl of trying to steal her baby, local hoodlums went to the Gypsy encampment and started chucking Molotov cocktails, setting fire to the camp and forcing its 800 inhabitants to flee. Particularly disgusting was the way the locals, who had gathered to jeer at the distraught Gypsies, feigned sympathy the moment the TV crews arrived. A man who had been screaming, “Let them burn!” now raised his hand to heaven and cried: “Madonna mia, the poor people!” Politicians, too, are making ritual expressions of regret, but everyone knows they secretly applaud the violence. This is a “pogrom,” pure and simple, and if it continues it will bring lasting shame to our country.

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