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Around 80,000 gipsy children are to be fingerprinted by the Italian authorities under a new scheme that has drawn comparisons to the policies of Benito Mussolini.
The Italian government has blamed immigrants, and particularly Roma gipsies, for the country's crime problems.
Since Silvio Berlusconi became prime minister in April, gypsy camps in the south and north of the country have been burned by vigilante mobs.
The home minister, Roberto Maroni, has now announced that all the Roma will be fingerprinted, including children. "This is not ethnic cataloguing, this is the ultimate safeguard of their rights," he said.
It is an image that has crystallised the mounting disquiet in the country over the treatment of Roma, coming after camps have been burnt and the government has embarked on a bid to fingerprint every member of the minority. Two young Roma sisters had drowned at Torregaveta beach after taking a dip in treacherous waters. Their corpses were recovered from the sea – then left on the beach for hours while holidaymakers continued to sunbathe and picnic around them.
The report estimates the yearly earning of the Calabrian mafia or 'Ndrangheta at 44,000m euros (£35,238m).
It says that the criminal and economic reach of the group is not taken seriously by the Italian authorities.
The report shows that the Calabrian mafia is now effectively a multi-national crime corporation.
This week’s assaults on Roma shanty towns by scores of youths on scooters and motorbikes wielding iron bars and throwing Molotov cocktails were sparked off by the capture of a 17-year-old Roma girl who last weekend entered a flat in Ponticelli and tried to steal a 6-year-old girl. Chased by the mother and neighbours, she had to be rescued by police from being lynched
Originally posted by Mathilda
Their culture is inherently criminal, and they are notoriuos for stealing kids.