Romania’s foreign minister has agreed to send police to Italy to help investigate a spate of violent crimes allegedly carried out by Romanian immigrants. Cristian Diaconescu has been in Rome for talks to improve relations between the two countries.
“Unfortunately,” he said, “we see a negative perception growing in Italian society.To attribute to an entire community acts committed by individuals is unfair and even brutal.” Speaking earlier in Brussels, Italy’s Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was keen to stress that most Romanian immigrants were well integrated. In what he called a “gesture of good will” he suggested that any Romanian immigrant caught and tried for committing a crime should serve his sentence back home. “3,000 out of one million Romanians living in Italy are currently in Italian jails. We think it would be fair that these people should serve their sentences in their own country. Because Romania is a European country and their prisons are European prisons.” Some Italians have formed unarmed groups to patrol railway stations and other public areas. These so-called “citizen patrols” aim to tackle the rise in crimes attributed to foreigners. The patrols started when a 14-year-old girl was raped and her boyfriend beaten up in a Rome park. Two Romanian immigrants have been arrested in connection with the attacks.