The Italian government is distancing itself from the plan of a right-wing ally to tax immigrants seeking residence permits. The Northern League wants a 50 euro extra fee for a permit, and a 10,000 euro guarantee to start a business.
Spokesman Federico Bricolo said: “It is not right that it is only Italians who must bear the costs of immigration. It is only right that the immigrants themselves have to pay something. That is my answer to all those who are against this amendment.” Members of the opposition Democratic party called it “a hateful and deeply wrong measure”. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who has put forward anti-immigrant measures of his own, thinks this one goes too far. “I must say that we do not agree with it,” he said. “It is a proposal which has not been put before the government. We were only informed about it via parliament and I personally reject it.”