A group of migrants in the Caltanissetta reception center | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA
A group of migrants in the Caltanissetta reception center | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA

The far-right League party in Sicily has proposed to introduce behavioural 'rules' to urge migrants to respect public spaces and local inhabitants. The suggestion has sparked outcry and complaints of racism.

Polemics have been sparked in the Sicilian city of Caltanissetta by statements made by two councillors of the far-right party The League.

The councillors, Oscar Aiello and Valeria Visconti, said in relation to worsening conditions in the historic center of the city that the mayor should "plaster the walls of streets and cafes, and put up in front of schools and hospitals, an ordinance with basic behavioural rules to be followed by non-EU migrants that do not know -- due to cultural differences -- the correct and healthy ways of civilian life. In this way they would be helped to respect the city and the citizens welcoming them."

The League councillors did not specify what the rules to comply with would be. However, their request was labelled "racist and shameful" by mayor Roberto Gambino from the Five Star Movement (M5S).

'Racist, shameful, and dangerous'

"I will respond with facts to the question," the mayor said, "seeing as the 20 million euros for urban regeneration are mostly for the historic center and will contribute to its rebirth. As concerns the statements on migrants, I find them to be shameful, racist, serious, and dangerous."

Firm condemnation was also heard from the local branch of the Italian Association of Partisans (ANPI), which said that "we are outraged by these statements, which are reminiscent of the darkest pages of our country's history."

The secretary of the "Guido Faletra" circle of the Democratic Party (PD), Carlo Vagginelli, announced that "as soon as I read these words, I rushed to the town council to sign up for an ANPI card."

The CGIL trade union also called for the "unmasking of all forms with which this 'new' racism continues to appear. There is no justification that can limit, deny, or ghettoise anyone, regardless of nationality, culture, or origins."

'Local litterers and the League need rules'

In the eyes of the Italia Nostra party, the proposal was "unbecoming and provocative. We should draw up 'rules' for (former interior minister Matteo, ed.) Salvini and his acolytes. Nice way to integrate the so-called 'migrants' who, despite what some may think, are a considerable resource for Caltanissetta."

Others called for 'rules' to be drawn up for local inhabitants themselves, who are often found littering in the historic center and parking in prohibited areas, such as the main square of the city.

 

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