November 4, 2007


Pope urges respect as politicians turn on Italy's Roma population (Peter Popham, 05 November 2007, Independent)

The Pope has called on Italy to respect immigrants' rights after opposition leader Silvio Berlusconi urged the closure of borders to Romanian workers, and conservative allies demanded thousands of Roma be deported.

Thirty-eight Romanians were expelled over the weekend, using the tough new diktat signed into law on Friday. And despite a brutal attack on a group of Romanians in a suburb of the Italian capital on Friday night, top Italian politicians continued their assault on immigrants over the weekend, with the leader of the post-fascist National Alliance calling for the expulsion of 20,000 from Rome alone.

...that the "current scope, duration, and wave of Roma immigration presents a challenge for Italy like none ever seen before..."

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2007 8:45 PM

This is all a bit disingenuous, not to say confusing.

"Roma" in this case, means what is commonly referred to as "Gypsy"; it does not mean Romanian. (Gypsy is a derogatory, if widely used, term for the Roma---or Romany---people; the word originates from the word, Egypt, though the Roma are said to actually have migrated westward from the Indian subcontinent.)

To be sure, Gypsies do not have a stellar reputation in Europe, and are seen as being responsible for much of the petty crime and pickpocketing throughout Europe's major cities (to be sure, these days, being labelled a racist is far worse than being a mass murdering terrorist).

It so happens that the Gypsies in question (i.e., those coming into Italy) have been coming from Romania, so that technically, these Roma are in fact Romanian (assuming they have Romanian citizenship); however they are being treated the way they are not because they are Romanian but because they are Roma, i.e., Roma.

And of course, to perhaps asdd to the confusion, Roma (Rome as it's called by in English) is the capital of Italy.

(When in Roma, do as the Romanian Roma do?)

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 5, 2007 3:23 AM

Barry beat me to it on the use of the word, "Roma." Keep rectifying the names!

"[A] challenge for Italy like none ever seen before. . .." Not quite.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 5, 2007 5:16 AM

And, of course, the Italian Right's old ally killed half a million of them.

Posted by: oj at November 5, 2007 11:28 AM

Talk about unassimilated minorities/migrants; they take the cake. Who would want more of them?

Posted by: Genecis at November 5, 2007 12:50 PM