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What the newspapers say: February 20, 2009

de A.C.     HotNews.ro
Vineri, 20 februarie 2009, 2:09 English | Press Review

All newspapers on Friday take note about the reactions of the Italians toward the increasing acts of violence committed by Romanian citizens. One newspaper reads about the way Romanians living in Italy cope with the their increasing negative image. Another paper underlines that the anti-Romanian movement in Italy is deepened by the crisis.

Evenimentul Zilei reads that a series of rapes and acts of violence with suspected or accused Romanian felons transformed the Romanian community in Italy's number one enemy. The Italian police presented, yesterday, the main suspects investigated for raping a 14 year old Italian girl in Rome: Romanian citizens Isztoika Loyos and Karol Racz.

The rape, part of a series of felonies involving Romanians stirred up a series of street reactions: several Romanians were beaten in Rome last week while some illegal camps were attacked and set on fire. Italian extremist movement Forza Nuova announced several measures against the Romanians.

Italian officials, at their turn, reflected the frustration on the streets: the Opposition party warned that Berlusconi's decree ruling the formation of citizen patrols to prevent such incidents might lead to further violence and xenophobia.

Romanian MEP Renate Weber underlined that there was no such thing as a wave of violence committed by Romanians as the Italian press emphasizes. She said that the issue has become a political one and that things might get out of hand.

When it comes to Romanians living legally in Italy, Romania libera reads that they come to be ashamed of their nationality. Former Rome Mayor counselor Gelu Rusu declared that Romanians stop talking their own language on the streets, stopped going to the parks and fear that their children might be hurt.

Even so, the fury of the Italians cannot be displaced: in Rome the police retained some 234 Romanian suspects in two months, representing half of the total of arrests made since the beginning of the year.

The newspaper reads that there were only two incidents that inflamed the Italians: when a Romanian attempted to rape a blind woman aged 83 and when two Romanians raped a 14 year old girl and forced her boyfriend to watch everything.

Accademia di Romania deputy director Daniela Crascanu underlined that such incidents were real and frequent. Rusu declared that there is a tension one can feel on the streets against Romanians. Last year's Romanian hero Iosif Petrisor, who saved the life of two old Italians declared that the life of Romanians in Italy has changed completely and that now, he was ashamed to be a Romanian: whenever someone hears one is Romanian, one is treated with disrespect.

However, there are other Romanians who feel that these incidents did not change the way they are perceived by the community and talk about their good experiences in Italy.

Cotidianul reads that Italy's Interior minister Roberto Maroni hired illegal Romanian immigrants. Apparently, Maroni called Romania's Embassy to aid three Romanian workers to extend their working permits. However, he is among those Italian politicians to take a stand against Romanian immigrants.


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