Published Monday, August 25, 2008 at 16:14by julian_schaerbeek (61 views and 0 comments)Three cheers for Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and Antonio Vitorino, for starting a debate on socialist migration policies. The right wing is losing the plot, and going too far. Take Italy. What is happening is embarassingly bad. In recent months: Berlusconi and his government have repeatedly linked alleged increases in crime to illegal immigrants and roma people (as if Italy did not have serious crime problems of its own);A law was passed by Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Government enabling judges to give illegal immigrants convicted of crimes longer jail sentences than to Italians;The interior Minister proposed the fingerprinting of all members of the Roma community including children.
Now Berlusconi’s coalition partners – the Lega Nord – has proposed a law requiring local referendums before planning permission for mosques can be given, and an outright ban on minarets! The Catholic ‘Famiglia Cristiana’ magazine recently warned that there was a danger of fascism resurfacing in Italy in another guise. When Berlusconi’s allies criticized the comment the Pope replied with a speech on the need to fight racism! The racism and exaggerated fear of illegal immigrants whipped up by the right-wing Government is not tolerable - even the Catholic Church is turning agazist the extremism of Berlusconi and his racist allies. As someone of Italian origin, I am glad I was never as badly in the country where I was born & brought up as the Italian Government is now treating foreigners. We on the left who have always fought racism can show there is a better way than right-wing prejudice and fear.