Everything Old Is New AgainThis story
was mentioned to me by my brother-in-law:
Fingerprint the lot of them: the idea had the satisfying smack of firm government. Now the Italian government was doing something tough; something long overdue.
The Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, a leader of the rabble-rousing Northern League – close allies of Silvio Berlusconi on the government benches – has explained his next step in his assault on the "emergenza di sicurezza", the "security emergency": fingerprinting all Gypsies.
It was the only way, he told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, for Italy to guarantee "to those who have the right to remain here, the possibility of living in decent conditions." For this purpose the Roma – those with Italian nationality and those without, EU citizens and those from outside the Community – will all have their fingerprints taken. And the rule will even apply to Gypsy children – for reasons that to many of Mr Maroni's supporters must have sounded obvious: "to avoid phenomena," as he put it, "such as begging". The new measures, he said, were indispensable "in order to expel those who do not have the right to stay in Italy".
For anybody not swept up in the wave of anti-Roma fury, the campaign has a strong whiff of Mussolini and Hitler about it.
The task of counting and identifying the residents of Italy, citizens or otherwise, who happen to belong the most despised minority in Europe is, in fact, already under way.