The Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has been drawn into a growing row over immigrants in Italy, as Romanian groups launched a public relations campaign to improve their image. Prodi deplored deteriorating relations between Italians and immigrants, but insisted there must be respect for the law.
Italians’ view of the Romanian community took a battering when the Mayor of Rome claimed that 75 percent of all foreigners arrested in his city this year were of Romanian origin. He demanded the government in Bucharest do something about the problem.
The small “Romanians in Italy Party” is mounting a defence, chairman Giancarlo Germani said a tiny criminal minority of their million-strong community is ruining their image.
The row comes as Italy considers relaxing the rules on expelling foreigners who commit crimes, and the Romanians find themselves very much in the spotlight.