Italy’s interior minister announces plan to register Roma and Sinti


Italy’s interior minister announces plan to register Roma and Sinti

Marianne Arens

23 June 2018

Following his threat to expel “all 600,000” immigrants from Italy, Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini (Lega) now plans to register and count all Sinti and Roma living in the country. Such a move would be the prelude to mass, fascist-style repression.

“I’m drawing up a dossier on the Roma in Italy at the Ministry, it’s a mess. It used to be called a census, but you cannot call it that anymore. So let’s call it a personal register or an inventory,” Salvini said in an interview on Telelombardia, a Milan-based local television network, on Monday. He would prefer to deport all of the country’s 140,000 Roma, but, “unfortunately, we have to keep the Italians among them,” he added provocatively.

On Wednesday, Salvini announced that many local authorities had already contacted him to declare their readiness to start counting.

Salvini’s project of a Roma card index recalls one of the darkest periods in European history. It draws inspiration directly from the vicious measures of Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime, which registered all Jews in the country before their deportation to Nazi extermination camps. Sinti and Roma were also deprived of all rights, persecuted and murdered by the Italian fascists in league with Hitler’s regime.

The plans of the ultra-right interior minister are so monstrous that representatives of his own government, from Lega and Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement), were forced to repudiate them. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday, “No one here has any intention of filling a register or making counts on an ethnic basis, a measure which, by the way, would be unconstitutional and obviously discriminatory.”…

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