Italy's crackdown on Gypsies reflects rising anti-immigrant tide in Europe





MILAN - This venerable city, long known for savory saffron risotto and the leggy models of Fashion Week, is moving to establish itself as something else: a zero-tolerance zone for Gypsies.

Anti-Gypsy campaigns in neighboring France have sparked international criticism, with officials there in recent months deporting more than 1,000 ethnic Roma - a clannish people migrating west in large numbers from Eastern Europe. But with great bravado, Milan is taking the lead in responding to Italy's own "Gypsy Emergency."...

"These are dark-skinned people, not Europeans like you and me," said Riccardo De Corato, who is Milan's vice mayor from Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's ruling party and who is in charge of handling the camps. He later added: "Our final goal is to have zero Gypsy camps in Milan."

The campaign underway here is part of what observers are calling the most intense wave of anti-immigration sentiment to wash over Western Europe in years....


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