A suburb of Turin, Italy is considering running a new ‘gypsy only’ bus after a spike in violence has sparked protests among the natives, who complain they are attacked, spat upon and robbed by travellers using the service.
The mayor of Borgaro in Turin gave his support to proposals to duplicate the town’s route 69 bus at a town meeting last week. The bus, which stops outside a 600-strong gypsy encampment fifteen minutes from the centre on the airport road has been the subject of a mini-crime wave that has generated anger and even defeated attempts to put security on the buses.
By creating a clone 69 that would run only as far as the camp, the mayor hopes to placate residents, including students, the elderly and housewives who also depend on the route while not excluding Roma from public transport altogether. One young woman, was was described as a “blonde haired Moldovan” spoke to local newspaper La Stampa and described the moment a gang of Gypsies boarded the bus she was travelling on: “Everyone was attacked. They punched the ticket machine. Then they got on the bus and stuck a knife to my cheek… if it wasn’t for the bus driver, I don’t know how it would have ended”.
Others have reported being spat upon, having had their hair cut off, and having mobile phones and bags stolen. The mayor announced to cheers at the meeting: “Two lines, one for us and one for them”, but insisted “It’s not racism, it’s just a way to solve a problem that has gone on for too long”.
Although some opposition politicians in the town have taken to twitter to call the move “indecent”, the move isn’t far enough for some. One resident said any money spent on giving facilities to violent gypsy gangs was too much: “They should have to walk, it’s too much to give them their own bus. We’re throwing money out of the window for people who don’t deserve anything”.
A local councillor for the Italian Brotherhood party, a new eurosceptic right-wing group also objected to the use of taxpayer Euros: “The public transport route dedicated to gypsies will be paid for with public money. If people who have committed crimes and harassed law-abiding citizens want to use the bus, they will have to comply with the law. You do not create a ‘bus of lawlessness’ where non-Roma (gypsies) not allowed”.
This is the second time in a week Italy’s buses has hit international news. Breitbart London reported last Thursday on an incident in Rome, where a young woman was thrown off a bus. The woman, a 26 year old Guinea national was beaten and accused of having Ebola before being ejected by a family. Although her home nation is one of the hardest hit Ebola countries, it is thought she had not visited in some years and was no Ebola risk.