6 Nov 2007

Against Xenophobia in Italy

Commenting on events in Italy, where a rising tide of xenophobia has engulfed the nation following the murder of an Italian citizen by a Romanian Roma, Male Principal Speaker, Derek Wall said:

“The crime of one person cannot be visited upon a whole nationality and one group, in this case the Roma. The Greens, who have stood for open borders and the free movement of people in Europe must oppose all signs of xenophobia and racism and this new law in Italy shows all the symptoms of being a knee jerk reaction to the mob. The historical persecution of the Roma people in Europe is widespread but to see it sanctioned by the state in one of Europe’s leading democracies is a grave cause for concern and makes me very anxious about the new fortress Europe which we are constructing. The Green Party condemns this action which is scapegoating one nationality and allowing the EU to decide on different levels of citizenship within its borders. Even more dangerously, it is encouraging the Far Right across Europe and leading to questions here in the UK by their supporters as to why immigrants from the new EU states cannot be treated in the same way (deported following a magistrate’s order). It is a very dangerous precedent and should be challenged by the Green Party and our sister parties in Europe.”

International Coordinator, Dr Joseph Healy, commented: “We have seen persecution of the Roma in Eastern Europe and now it is being state sanctioned in Western Europe. With right wing mobs roaming the streets of Italian cities looking for Romanians to attack and Fascist politicians in television studios referring to Roma people and Romanians as ‘scum’ the Italian government has opened a Pandora’s box of xenophobia and racism, which may now be impossible to close. The actions in Italy have all the hallmarks of a pogrom against the Roma and are in no way in the spirit of the EU of open borders and freedom of movement which we were promised. I stand with the Federation of Young European Greens and all those opposing racism and xenophobia against what is currently happening in Italy. It poses the question – What sort of Europe lies ahead?”

Joseph Healy

International Coordinator

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