In this video Northern League leader Matteo Salvini says: “We need a mass cleansing, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, do this the hard way in case of”. #Macerata shooter was a candidate of Northern League last year— Antonello Guerrera (@antoguerrera) February 3, 2018
Italy’s far-right, Interior minister Matteo Salvini, who is reportedly a big fan of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, once called for a “mass cleansing” of migrants from “entire parts” of the country.
Salvini, who is the head of the anti-immigrant Lega Nord party, was seen in a 2017 video which resurfaced on social media after he announced a proposed census of the Roma.
“We need a mass cleansing, street by street, piazza by piazza, and neighborhood by neighborhood. We need to be tough because there are entire parts of our cities, entire parts of Italy that are out of control” he said in an interview last year, before he was in the government.
The interior minister announced a plan to conduct a survey of Italy’s Roma population and to keep their records in a “register.” The Roma have been persecuted in Europe for centuries and were also targeted by the Third Reich during Nazi Germany.
In his defense, Salvini said the government had no intention of setting up a separate archive for the Roma or taking finger prints, but wanted to protect Roma children who were barred from going to local schools by their parents.
However, it’s clear he bears nothing but contempt for the Roma population as he was heard quoting, “Irregular [undocumented] foreigners will be deported via agreements with other countries, but Italian Roma unfortunately you have to keep at home.”
Salvini has a long history of targeting the minority population and during his campaign, pledged mass deportation of undocumented immigrants in Italy.
Ever since he assumed office, he has been making good on those promises. He signaled the government’s hardline stance towards migrants when he said the country wants NATO to help defend its southern shores from an influx of migrants.
Earlier this month, Salviniset off a storm in Europe when he refused to let a migrant ship, Aquarius, carrying 629 people dock in Italy. As a result, hundreds of migrants were stranded at sea with nowhere to go. He wrote a letter to the Maltese authorities and asked the island country to open its doors for the humanitarian ship and said Italy will no longer be “Europe’s refugee camp.”
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters,Stefano Rellandini