Italy Under Fire over Roma 'Discrimination'

Italy Under Fire over Roma 'Discrimination'

A human rights organisation has written to the European Commission to raise concerns about the behaviour of the Italian government towards the Roma community.

Roma rights organisation July 21 has said that the European Commission have written to the Italian government warning that the EU may start ‘infringement procedures’ over its treatment of the Roma people.

According to The Local, the Justice Department of the Commission has written to the Italian government to ask about housing policies that segregate Roma people from the rest of the population.

The letter says ‘The Commission may decide to initiate an infringement procedure under Article 258 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by sending the Italian government a letter of formal notice for breach of Directive 2000/43/EC. (The Racial Equality Directive)’

In the correspondence they request additional information on issues of housing of the Roma people in Italy including “fields” for Roma in La Barbuta in Rome.

“The Commission is concerned about the types of accommodation provided to Roma in very remote sites which are not accessible, equipped with fences and monitored by surveillance systems.”

The accusation levied by the Roma rights group is that such compounds severely limit the fundamental rights of the people concerned, isolating them from the world around them and depriving them of adequate opportunities for employment and education.

There are about 8,000 Roma living in Rome of which about 5,000 are living in government-run settlements.

This news comes after a series of stories have emerged from Italy including a separate bus route for Roma after locals have complained of violence against them and parents asking for two women to be fired from their jobs because they were ‘smelly’.

There are already less than cordial relations between Rome and Brussels following this year’s budget disputes with the European Commission refusing to agree to Italy’s financial proposals.

Prime Minister Renzi hit back at the Commission during a television interview where he demanded “respect” from President Juncker.

“I’m not going to go to Brussels to have what needs to be done explained to me, and I told Barroso and Junker that,” he said.

He also vowed at the summit to make public the cost of European Union “palaces”.

A European Commission spokesman told Breitbart London that letters had been sent in April of this year and again in September.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.