At least 60 per cent of Italians say they are worried about racism in Italy today under the leftist coalition government, a 13 per cent increase from a poll taken when populist Matteo Salvini’s League was in the coalition.
The poll, conducted by Demos & Pi survey, reveals that a majority of Italians are concerned about problems of racism in the country, with younger members of the public expressing the most concern over the issue.
Eighty-four per cent of those under 29 and 69 per cent between 30 and 44 said they were concerned about growing problems of racism, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports. Only those over 65 were sceptical, with 48 per cent saying they agreed racism was a growing issue.
The newspaper notes that the results are much higher, 13 per cent, than a previous poll by Demos and Pi released in Septemeber 2018 when populist Senator Matteo Salvini served as Interior Minister and many in the mainstream press claimed there was growing racism.
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Just 47 per cent of those surveyed in 2017 said racism was a major issue in Italy. That proportion is far less than under the leftist coalition of the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD), led by Prime minister Giuseppe Conte, which has reversed Salvini’s prior policy of closing ports to migrant transport NGOs.
What has caused the increase in worry over racism in Italy is not clear, although the newspaper notes the growing influence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement across many countries in recent weeks.
Italy has seen its own BLM protests, largely centred around opposition to a statue of well-known Italian journalist Indro Montanelli, who admitted to having a 12-year-old bride in Eritrea in the 1930s.
BLM activists demanded Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala remove the statue, located in a park where Montanelli was attacked and shot in the legs by Red Brigade far-left terrorists.
Sala, however, rejected the idea of removing the statue last month, saying: “Montanelli was more than that. He was a great journalist, a journalist who fought for the liberty of the state, an independent journalist. Maybe for these reasons he was shot in the legs.”
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