PRESS RELEASE - Horus

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Oct 29, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 9 November 2007

Italian decree is fuelling anti-gypsyism and xenophobia

The Italian government last week passed an emergency decree facilitating the expulsion of citizens
of the EU, limiting procedural safeguards, even introducing, for the first time ever, administrative
detention for European citizens. The alleged "crime emergency" raises grave concerns that it targets
certain groups, in particular Romanian nationals, and Roma among them, for expulsion.

ENAR is seriously concerned that far from preventing racism and xenophobia, the decree
strengthens xenophobic and racist opinions, "triggering a wave of xenophobia" as stated by
Romanian Prime Minister Mr. Popescu-Tariceanu, and justifying the double identification
Romanians/Roma/criminals.

ENAR members have reported that acts of violent racism have already taken place across Italy, as
well as racist and threatening graffiti; an official statement of an extreme right party claimed "If the
government doesn’t get rid of the camps, we will do it ourselves!”. Mr. Fini, former Deputy Prime
Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, stated in an interview that “Roma culture [justifies crimes
against women and children, therefore] makes them impossible to integrate in our society and to
our values (...) 100,000 to 200.000 people [should be] expelled.”

Media reports that claim ‘the move appeared to have the blessing of the European Commission’
1

have also raised serious concerns regarding the response at European level.

Bashy Quraishy, ENAR President, said: “We are appalled by the level of intolerance that has been
evidenced and are concerned that the decree must not be allowed to result in discrimination or the
fuelling of racist sentiment, either directly or indirectly. We urge Italian, Romanian and EU
politicians to stand up to the EU commitment to fundamental rights and to focus on implementing
adequate social inclusion and anti-discrimination policies.”

The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) is a network of European NGOs working to combat racism
in all EU member states and represents more than 600 NGOs spread around the European Union. Its
establishment was a major outcome of the 1997 European Year Against Racism. ENAR aims to fight racism,
xenophobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, to promote equality of treatment between EU citizens and
third country nationals, and to link local/regional/national initiatives with European initiatives.

For further information, contact:
Georgina Siklossy, Communication and Press Officer
Phone: 32-2-229.35.70 - Fax: 32-2-229.35.75
E-mail:
georgina@enar-eu.org
- Website:
http://www.enar-eu.org/en


1
‘Italy starts rounding up Romanian immigrants’, report in the Daily Telegraph (UK), 03/11/2007. See
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/02/witaly202.xml