Locals in the Italian city of Perugia have called for the government to close “ethnic clubs” in their neighbourhood after claims that they were linked to violence, drugs, and prostitution.
Residents of Fontivegge and other nearby neighbourhoods have accused the clubs of being hubs for criminal activity, newspaper Il Giornale reports.
“It has nothing to do with racism,” one local, who declined to be named, said.
“Go and see what they do next to the ethnic clubs, come back here in the evening, especially on Sundays, and you will understand why Salvini is right,” they added.
Salvini Wants Curfew for ‘Ethnic Shops’ Attracting Drug Dealers, ‘People Who P*** and S*** Everywhere’ https://t.co/5zoUkEU1MJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 12, 2018
Another resident, Giulietto Albioni, said: “With the arrival of non-EU citizens in this area, African markets, afro pubs, and other clubs were born.”
“Behind them is always the traffic of drugs,” Mr Albioni added.
The areas around the ethnic clubs have also seen a marked rise in violence according to Silvio Meli who lives only a short distance from an “Afropub” which he said had made living in the area difficult due to constant fights, late night drinking, and noise that made it “impossible to sleep”.
Il Giornale investigated the Afropub and found the area full of syringes and broken glass. The paper claimed that they went to the pub at 9 pm earlier this month and waited only three minutes until who they described as an migrant male offered them drugs.
Andrea Romizi, mayor of Perugia, went on to revoke the Afropub’s licence only days after the investigation.
The investigation comes after Italian populist Interior Minister Matteo Salvini had suggested that ethnic shops should be forced to close no later than 9 pm saying the shops attracted migrants “who drink beer and whisky until 3 am and raise hell”.
The comments were met with sharp criticism from left-wing politicians such as Democratic Party member Andrea Marcucci who called the policy an act of “a regime”.
Nearly One in Three Crimes In Italy Committed By Foreigners https://t.co/vtTPg7twKk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 25, 2018
Foreign-born criminal suspects have greatly increased in recent years in Italy to the point that nearly one in three criminal suspects comes from a foreign background, while foreigners make up only eight percent of the total Italian population.