The Romanian president has given a mixed reaction to Italy’s treatment of ethnic Roma after discussing the matter with the Italian Prime Minister.
Traian Basescu visited a camp for Roma travellers, colloquially known as gypsies, most of whom are Romanian immigrants.
Whilst he criticised Italy’s new policy of fingerprinting all Roma, including children, he told a press conference: “I’ve been discussing a certain anxiety that some Romanians have, that Romanian citizens are discriminated against in Italy. We don’t believe that anxiety is well-founded.”
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi then reacted to criticism of Italian policy from the European Parliament and human rights groups.
“Those opinions which are describing as negative the behaviour of the Italian government and people towards Romanian people in Italy, are totally false and misleading.”
The Red Cross are taking the fingerprints of Italy’s Roma population, estimated at around 150,000, who are often the first to be blamed for crime.