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Italy may demand all its citizens be fingerprinted, a move aimed at defusing widespread criticism of government plans to force Roma people and their children to provide fingerprints as a way of tackling criminality.
That policy has been condemned by the European Parliament, by Romania, where many Roma come from, and by religious groups who have compared it to the tagging of Jews by Nazis and fascists in the 1930s.
A parliamentary committee agreed on Wednesday that from 2010 all identity cards, which Italians already have to carry, should include the fingerprints of the bearer. The measure still has to pass through parliament.
"It will defuse the Roma question, (fingerprints) will be taken from everyone," opposition deputy Antonio Misani was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera newspaper's website.