In a bizarre little interview we came across on the ISRIA (International Security Research and Intelligence Agency) website, Franco Frattini, Italy's Foreign Minister, shows exactly how much you can trust a politician to tell the truth, especially when it comes racism amongst his compatriots.
Italy was accused of being racist following the events at Rosarno.
“Italy is not and has never been a racist country, not least as a result of the fact that it has not got a history of colonialism. [Just try telling that to Libya and Ethiopia, not to mention Albania and Corfu*. As for Italian racism, just read what Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli and Reggina's Shunsuke Nakamura have to say on the subject or ask any Roma on an Italian street or the Rosarno fruit-pickers.] Our government has been working for a long time on encouraging the EU to play a more incisive role, because Europe is exposed, more than any other continent, to the dangers of systemic instability in Africa”. [What has that got to do with racist violence incited by Mafia gangsters?]
Maroni blames excessive tolerance of illegal immigration.
“Illegal immigration fuels criminal activity, [It is the opposite actually. By creating a situation where migrants are criminalised for trying to do what any reasonable human being would do, namely trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, and they are rendered vulnerable to exploitation by crooks. The criminal gangs then spot an opportunity to set themselves up as people traffickers and encourage more people to try for a better life elsewhere.] and a blind eye has been turned to it for far too long. It is clear then that preventive measures are needed, which we are working on with the countries of the Maghreb region—Libya foremost among them—and these have already led to a 90% reduction in the flow of illegal immigrants by boat”.[Yes, by reneging on Italy's International obligations of non-refoulement of refugees.]
* See also: Italy and Africa: How to Forget Colonialism