Romanian newspapers on Monday read how the Italian media splits on issues related to the large Romanian community in the country: while some TV channels and newspapers depict Romanian Gypsy beggars on the streets, others portray the life and achievements of successfully integrated Romanians.

Also in the papers today, the leader of Romania's most important opposition party urges Romanians to vote in favor of an uninominal voting system supported by President Basescu in a referendum this coming weekend. Violence at a football match between Romania and Bulgaria figures prominently in the papers as well.

Cotidianul reads that after several Italian TV channels launched a fierce campaign on Romanian migrants over the past several days with footage depicting with the Romanian Gypsy beggars and their life on the Italian streets.

But a group of legal Romanian immigrants also contributed to the campaign with their own video where some are portrayed shouting “Kill yourself” or "Go home!" at their co-national felons.

The newspaper argues that the images might actually do more harm than good as Italians are intoxicated with xenophobic feelings even more.

Experts argue that Romanians living legally in Italy should not attack their less fortunate felons with the same weapons. The newspaper argues thus that the issue is easily inflammable.

Evenimentul Zilei reads one of ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi’s TV channels has asked Romanians living legally in Italy what they think of their co-nationals involved in criminal activities.

Romanians are quoted arguing that Italians have all rights to fear the violence of the illegal immigrants in their county. They are also quoted arguing that Italians need to differentiate once and for all between the "good" and "bad" Romanians.

The newspaper notes that some 119 illegal immigrants were sent home over the past two weeks. However, at first, Italian authorities hoped that the numbers rise to 1500 in Rome alone.

Romania Libera reads that the video tapes portraying legal Romanians are meant to send a clear message to their Italian counterparts: that they have a single voice against criminals, thieves and felons.

The newspaper reads that Italy’s recent history shows that the Italian press is looking for somebody to blame: in the past, the Albanians were to blame for atrocities while now, it’s the Romanians and Gypsies.

Also in the papers today:

  • Mircea Geoana, the leader of Romania's biggest opposition group, the Social Democrats (PSD), has an unusual stand on the referendum due to take place this coming weekend on the uninominal voting system proposed by their arch-enemy, President Traian Basescu.

    Geoana says in an interview for Evenimentul Zilei that his party supported a yes vote for that system, claiming that the electoral change project had first been initiated by the PSD.

  • Cotidianul reports that the football match lost by Romania against Bulgaria 0-1 was marred by violence between core supporters of the two teams that clashed during the match despite a strong security presence. Several people were injured, according to the newspaper.