Demonstrators have taken to the streets of Bucharest as tensions rise over Italy’s plans to deport Romanian nationals. Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu will discuss the situation with his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi when they meet in Rome today. Bucharest is also sending 30 police officers to help deal with the Romanian cases.
The rape and murder of an Italian woman, allegedly by a Romanian national, has prompted Italy to bring in new laws aimed at tackling crime.
“These measures specifically target those individuals about whom police have specific information which shows clearly that they are dangerous. It’s not about mass expulsion,” said Interior Minister Giuliano Amato.
Romania joined the EU in January this year and more than half a million of its citizens now live in Italy, many in makeshift camps like this one near Rome. Around 20 have been sent home so far under the new crackdown. EU officials say Italy is within its rights to deport individuals provided it respects the bloc’s criteria for expulsion.