With Naples’ rubbish crisis still a festering problem for the Italian government, Silvio Berlusconi’s cabinet has unveiled measures to tackle it and illegal immigration, another issue deeply affecting the city. The Italian prime minister symbolically chose Naples as the venue for a full cabinet meeting.
Locals partially blame Berlusconi for the mounting refuse piles that are the result of a waste collection problem going back decades. He has announced the creation of ten new dumps and told reporters these would be declared sites of national interest that would have the same status as military zones.
Berlusconi also unveiled tough measures to crack down on crime, including making it an imprisonable offence to be an illegal immigrant: “The right to not be in fear is a primary right that the state cannot guarantee for its citizens and so we’ve activated a series of measures immediately,” he said
Several groups staged protests in the city to coincide with the cabinet meeting. One organisation highlighted racism which it claims is on the rise amid the perception, held by many Italians, that illegal immigrants are involved in crime. It says the centre-right administration’s new measures will only heighten anti-immigrant sentiments.