The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has backtracked over a controversial bill that would make illegal immigration a jailable offence. It follows criticism from both the United Nations and the Vatican. The government claims the measures would fight crime and illegal immigration but those opposed say they risk fuelling racism.
Berlusconi appears to be having second thoughts: “Personally, I don’t think you can prosecute someone for their illegal presence in our country, but their status should be considered an aggravating circumstance if they commit a crime.”
In the Romanian capital of Bucharest, people from the Roma community gathered outside the Italian embassy.
They were protesting against the situtation of Roma people in Italy, many of whom have faced violence and harrassment.