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Irish Left Review
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A White Christmas in Italy means Christmas without non-EU citizens

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday November 19, 2009 21:35author by candlelight Report this post to the editors

Police in 2-month house to house search to check up on non-EU citizens and deport them if their papers are not in order.

Franco Claretti, Mayor of Coccaglio, near Brescia in Northern Italy said” Our objective is to clean the town out”. Claudio Abiendi, Northern League Councillor for Security stated “Christmas isn’t a Welcome Festival, it’s Christian tradition that celebrates our identity” And two neighbouring towns Castelcovati and Castrezzato are copying the initiative.

BRESCIA – The right-wing council with its Northern League Mayor and three councillors with the other three belonging to Berlusconi’s Liberty Party have just inaugurated the “White Christmas” operation to rid the town of non-EU citizens. The name was chosen because the initiative ends on Christmas day .In Coccaglio, just under 7,000 inhabitants and 1,500 foreigners, the police will be knocking on the doors of the 400 non-EU citizens. If their residence permits expired more than six months ago and if they cannot prove they have applied for renewal, “then” says Mayor Franco Claretti “their right to residence is revoked” .

In Coccaglio the number of non-EU citizens, mainly Maroccans,Albanians and people from the former Yugoslavia, rose from 177 in 1998 to 1562 in 2008, becoming 20% of the population. “They are not criminals” insists Claretti “we just want to start a clean-up” .

Councillor Claudio Abiendi, who says he ”was one of the founder members of the Northern League” stated “Since we started on 25th October we have carried out 150 inspections and 50% of the people we checked up on did not have their papers in order”.
In Milan on 24th October, at the first Convention for Northern League Mayors, operation White Christmas was approved by the powers that be in the party. “Minister Maroni is a practical man” says Mayor Claretti “he advised us on how to carry out the operation without running into any legal hitches”
Umberto Bossi, leader of the Northern League admits “ You may not like the name of the operation but the law is being applied. Maybe “White Christmas was a poor choice of name. Perhaps they should have called it “Christmas Legality Inspection” . Sometimes form is substance”

Related Link: http://www.repubblica.it/2009/11/sezioni/cronaca/natale.../nata
author by anyapublication date Sun Nov 22, 2009 00:19Report this post to the editors


Italy - Up to 700 migrants who were squatting in abandoned buildings without water and electricity in San Nicola Varco, some 100 kilometres south of Naples, have been evacuated by the Italian Police, with many transferred to nearby identification and expulsion centres.

An International Organization for Migration (IOM) team discovered in July that many of the migrants, all young men from Morocco, living in the area had entered Italy with a regular visa. Some said they had paid up to 8,000 Euros to middle-men in Morocco to obtain a seasonal work contract in Italy.

Once in the country, the migrants found that their employer had disappeared or just refused to employ them. Without a legal work permit, the men became irregular migrants working without a contract in the agricultural sector where they were exploited by unscrupulous employers to labour in nearby greenhouses and fields.
They said they had been paid between 15-25 Euros for a 12.5 hour day and had to pay employers for services such as water.

"We discovered that many migrants had visas with details of the Italian employers who refused to hire them. We collected all the relevant information and passed it to the local prosecutors. We wanted to give the migrants the possibility to denounce this fraud in order to receive some kind of protection," says Peter Schatzer, IOM Chief of Mission in Italy.

Without a response from the relevant authorities, IOM is concerned that the potential removal of the deceived migrants will put an end to the on-going judicial enquiry.

"This effectively means that those who organized and benefited from this scam might not be brought to justice while the migrants, who were duped by unscrupulous employers, run the risk of being denounced as irregular migrants under a new law," says IOM's Peter Schatzer. "It would also set a precedent to the effect that the seasonal worker quota can be abused to deceive more migrants in search of better life conditions."

Illegal labour in Italy, especially in the agricultural sector, is widespread. Official statistics show that it accounts for between 15.9 per cent and 17.6 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.

The demand for this kind of labour was the focus of a new IOM campaign launched last month. "Buy Responsibly" aims to not only raise awareness of the demand side of labour exploitation, but also to encourage consumers to play a role in ending this kind of exploitation.

http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/press-briefing-not...26644

Related Link: http://www.iom.int/jahia/Jahia/media/press-briefing-not...26644
author by redrumpublication date Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:19Report this post to the editors

A White Christmas in Italy means Christmas without immigrants, no matter if they are from EU or not

 
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