ROME — Italy’s hard-line interior minister, who recently sparked a Europe-wide showdown by refusing entry to a rescue boat packed with 630 migrants, is now taking aim at Italy’s minority Roma community.
Minister Matteo Salvini tells a Lombardy television Monday that he has wants to conduct a census of Roma in Italy to identify them.
Salvini tells TeleLombardia TV: “I’ve asked the ministry to prepare a dossier on the Roma question in Italy.” He calls the current situation of Roma, also known as Gypsies, “chaos.”
His remarks spark immediate denunciations from center-left politicians, who warn that Italy had a “terrible” history with its Fascist-era census of Jews.
Italy has a sizable Roma community. Authorities periodically clear out the squatter camps where many Roma on the outskirts of big cities.