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Salvini pushes for census of Roma people in Italy

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By Euronews
Salvini pushes for census of Roma people in Italy

While migrants from Africa have often dominated political debate in Italy, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has turned his attention to the country's Roma people.

He said on Monday that the government intends to hold a special 'census' of Roma people in Italy, with the new League/Five-Star Movement executive wanting to close all of the ethnic group's illegal camps.

Salvini said: "I have asked to have a report on the Roma situation prepared to see who, how and how many.

"Then as far as Roma with Italian citizenship are concerned, unfortunately we will have to keep them, because we cannot expel them."

Salvini also wants to limit the actions of NGOs roaming the Mediterranean Sea, who he said were "waiting for their load of human beings and making money from it".

He claimed it was unfair for Italy to bear the brunt of the world's burden, saying: "There are ships with flags from Gibraltar, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. It is not acceptable that the entire world comes and collects in the Mediterranean Sea and reaches Italy."

When the Aquarius rescue ship arrived in Spain on Sunday, Salvini tweeted: "For the first time a ship from Libya destined for Italy docks in a different country: a sign that something is changing, we are no longer the doormats of Europe."

Salvini refused to permit the migrants saved by the Aquarius to land in Italy.

After a gruelling nine days at sea, the ship was eventually allowed to make port in Valencia, however, the fierce debate in Europe over what to do about immigration has been left wide open.