Cruel Racism in Italy
Italian gypsies in particular, and many more Gypsy groups from all over the world, are asking us for help. Many messages are distressed and they are from a frightened community which has seen the landslide victory of the politic coalition –some of its parties are from the extreme-right wing- led by Silvio Berlusconi. Some days before these indescribable aggressions suffered by Gypsy people of Ponticelli (Naples), carried out by some heartless people who set fire to their humble shanty town, an Italian Gypsy organization said us: “Gypsy people are in danger in Italy. We are frightened of the deportations. Please –they said to me- send a message to the Italian Government to respect the common Directives”.
One: To denounce in public the seriousness of the outrage suffered by European gypsies who live in Italy and to ask for the solidarity for all citizens from any country against the racist violence. For that, we ask them to write a letter to the President of the Italian Government You can either send him directly to his residence in Quirinal (Roma) or to the Italian Embassies in each country. (The address of the Italian Embassy in Spain is: Calle Lagasca, 98. Postcode 2806 Madrid).
Two: To request to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take an interest in Gypsy’s situation in Italy, showing the concern of Spanish Gypsy community for what will happen to gypsies expelled from their burned houses. Our Government is legitimized to ask this on the basis of the Directive 2004/38/CE of European Parliament and Council, relating to European citizens’ right, and their family members, to move around and stay freely within the Member States. Indeed, as it is a Directive and each country can determine how to establish the requirements of the Community Law, it must be done a critical and watchful labour of the Governments to ensure that the measures adopted by different Member States lead to the Community Law application with the same effectiveness and rigorousness which are applied the national rules of respective National Rights.
Three: To express to the Committee on Petitions, as a matter of urgency, to start an investigation of the situation that has led the Italian community of Ponticelli (Naples) to this confrontation with Gypsy people who live there.
Four: To ask to the Parliamentary Groups of the European Parliament to formulate, as a matter of urgency, the necessary parliamentary initiatives which oblige the Council to answer, in the Plenary Session of Strasbourg and Brussels, about the measures that the Italian Government could decided to stop these aggressions and to punish the responsible people of them.
Five: Unión Romaní is sure that the majority of Italian citizens –including voters of Mr. Berlusconi- reject the violence, wherever they come from. For this reason, from Unión Romaní Internacional, it is proposed to establish, with Italian Gypsy organizations, a program of collaboration in order to bring together the adequate measures which guarantee the defence of these European citizens who have not committed any outrage but to be “poor and Gypsies”.
Six: Today we have heard that Italian Government is proposing to take tougher measures against immigration. That means that to be “clandestine” will be a crime classified in the Penal Code. In that respect, Roberto Calderoli, new Italian Minister of the Northen League, has declared that for not to be “clandestine”: “They must proved they are honest; if not, they will be expelled from Italy”.
Seven: Finally, we propose to show our great concern for these events to the more representative international institutions. We will do it before European Council, before the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
JUAN DE DIOS RAMÍREZ HEREDIA