Sunday, December 30, 2007

Double fudge

In November, we wrote of the new law framed by the Italian government aimed at expelling large numbers of Romanians from its country – a reaction to the horrific murder of a 47-year-old woman by a Romanian immigrant.

We were then remarking on the obvious non conformity of the law with EU legislation, and the apparent refusal of the EU to condemn it. We also observed that it helped to have the EU commissioner responsible for the (EU) law firmly on your side.

If the EU was fudging the issue, however, so was the Italian government – making this new measure a double fudge. We learn from the Romanian Focus News Agency that the Italians did not pass the new law, because of a "technicality", and has now brought out a new law, which – we are told – "eases expulsions" of EU nationals.

With that, according to UPI, a mere 1,200 Romanians are to be deported, of the 342,200 Romanians officially registered as currently living in Italy. Furthermore, each is now to be given an opportunity to appeal against deportation, as required by EU law.

This contrasts with the 5,000 expulsions that were to go ahead as the first tranche, promised by La Repubblica newspaper – which we recorded at the time.

Effectively, the climbdown by the Italian government confirms that the law was indeed contrary to EU and is indicative of behind-the-scenes pressure from Brussels to prevent former commission president Romano Prodi – no Italian prime minister – from going too far astray.

But, given the bellicose utterances from the politicians in response to what was seen as the menace of Romanian immigration, this also means that the Italian public have been hoodwinked – again.

So far, no popular response has been recorded, but one does wonder what the public response will be when they learn that the politicians have failed to keep their promises and are simply deporting a token number of immigrants.

Perhaps, since it took a particularly gruesome murder to trigger the last outrage, another might provoke an even greater outrage – and this time the politicians might not get away with it so easily.

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