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Rape cases fuel anti-migrant angst in Italy ahead of election

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webfact    24,376

Rape cases fuel anti-migrant angst in Italy ahead of election

By Crispian Balmer

 

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Northern League's leader Matteo Salvini answers journalists questions during a news conference in Milan, Italy, June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

 

ROME (Reuters) - Rape allegations levelled against foreigners are fuelling anti-immigrant sentiment in Italy ahead of elections due early next year, when migration is likely to top the political agenda.

 

Anti-immigration politicians have leapt on the crimes to ram home their message that the centre-left government has been lax on border controls, allowing more than 600,000 migrants, mainly Africans, to enter the country over the past four years.

 

"There are too many of them. I will send quite a few home," Matteo Salvini, the head of the rightist Northern League, wrote on Twitter this week after police said a Bangladeshi man had been arrested in Rome on suspicion of raping a Finnish au pair.

 

The Rome case came two weeks after a young Polish tourist said she was gang raped by four Africans, three of them aged under 18, on a beach in the Adriatic resort of Rimini.

 

The woman's partner was badly beaten by the youths and a Peruvian transsexual said she was raped and assaulted by the same quartet later the same night.

 

The leader of the gang was named as a Congolese asylum-seeker who had been allowed to stay in Italy on humanitarian grounds. The other three were Moroccan brothers aged 15 and 17, who were born in Italy, and a 16-year-old Nigerian.

 

"A gang of Maghreb worms," said Georgia Meloni, head of the rightist Brothers of Italy party, which is expected to be allied with the Northern League and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy!) party at the election.

 

An opinion poll in la Repubblica newspaper on Wednesday showed 46 percent of Italians thought migrants represented a threat to their personal safety and to public order against 40 percent in the last such survey in February.

 

Five years ago the figure stood at just 26 percent.

 

CONSEQUENCES

 

Opposition parties say the government cannot ignore the issue, pointing to official data showing that in the first seven months of the year 1,534 Italians were arrested or accused of rape compared with 904 foreigners suspected of the same crime.

 

"Some 40 percent of rapes are being committed by foreigners who make up 8 percent of the population. You can't sweep this under a carpet," said Deborah Bergamini, a lawmaker with Forza Italia. "The influx of migrants is having major consequences."

 

Though Italy was a colonial power in Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries and migrants have come to Italy for decades, the country mainly served as a transit route for the rest of Europe and so remains an overwhelmingly white country.

 

However, EU migration policy means that increasing numbers of would-be asylum seekers are having to stay to secure residency permits, meaning many more Africans and refugees from the Middle East are trying to make Italy their home.

 

Rising public concern over the inflows is starting to affect government policy-making, with the ruling centre-left Democratic Party on Tuesday freezing a long-promised bill that would have granted citizenship to the children of immigrants.

 

Some 70 percent of Italians backed the measure earlier this year, but support has now plummeted to just 52 percent, according to the la Repubblica survey.

 

Interior Minister Marco Minniti has also intervened to stem the flow of migrants.

 

"I feared for democracy in this country," Minniti said last month, explaining why, after months of a de-facto, open-door policy, the government finally introduced measures aimed at preventing people from leaving Libya for Italy.

 

Over the past 2-1/2 months, the number of migrants reaching Italy has fallen 70 percent from the same period a year ago to some 16,500, but the rape cases have ensured that media headlines have remained highly negative about the newcomers.

 

NEWSPAPER HEADLINES

 

German media were accused last year of initially ignoring allegations of sex assaults by migrants at New Year festivities in Cologne in order not to fuel anti-foreigner sentiment. The Italian media has no such hesitancy.

 

"First poverty, now they bring us disease," a front page headline in Libero daily said this month when an Italian child died of malaria just days after she had shared a hospital ward with two African children suffering the same illness.

 

Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and cannot be passed person-to-person. It was eradicated from Italy in 1970 and doctors do not know how the girl, who had never been abroad, caught the disease.

 

Cecile Kashetu Kyenge, a Congolese-born European parliamentarian with the ruling Democratic Party, says those sorts of headlines show how racism is on the rise.

 

"The newspapers turn migrants into the enemies of Italy and people start to believe this nonsense," said Kyenge, a former minister who receives regular racist abuse on social media.

 

"Racism is used as a political weapon and the situation is getting worse. The problem is we are living in a perpetual election campaign and politicians play on peoples' fears."

 

The Northern League has led the anti-migrant charge with its leader, Salvini, regularly denouncing migrants on Facebook. The party has been rewarded by a jump in support from 6 percent in 2014 to more than 15 percent today, making it the third largest political force in Italy in many opinion polls.

 

"The rise of the Northern League can be put down to the party's anti-migrant stance and Salvini's undoubted ability to play the populist card," said pollster Renato Mannheimer. He predicted that the issue would continue to predominate.

 

"The economy is a much more important issue, but sadly I think it will take a back seat to immigration in the coming election campaign," he said.

 

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-14
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observer90210    1,222

It is the fault of the respective governments of these places....laws need to be more severe...plainly deport  the wrongdoers with no form of appeal...

 

It woud be irresponsable and plainly stupid to put all the migrants in the same basket.....

 

Let's get back to Thailand...just because a bunch of drunk/drugged farangs misbehave in Pattaya, would you as a decent farang appreciate Thais making biased generalizations in your face, claiming all farangs are bad, drugged or pedophiles???

 

And sorry to ma Italian cronies, but Italy does have a past history of strong racial discrimination ideology. Unfortunately, the poison can get transmitted from one generation to other with some extreme racist, brainless, right wing movements who are very active in the country.....It takes time to clean up minds and souls.

Edited by observer90210

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jesimps    3,038
27 minutes ago, observer90210 said:

It is the fault of the respective governments of these places....laws need to be more severe...plainly deport  the wrongdoers with no form of appeal...

 

It woud be irresponsable and plainly stupid to put all the migrants in the same basket.....

 

Let's get back to Thailand...just because a bunch of drunk/drugged farangs misbehave in Pattaya, would you as a decent farang appreciate Thais making biased generalizations in your face, claiming all farangs are bad, drugged or pedophiles???

 

And sorry to ma Italian cronies, but Italy does have a past history of strong racial discrimination ideology. Unfortunately, the poison can get transmitted from one generation to other with some extreme racist, brainless, right wing movements who are very active in the country.....It takes time to clean up minds and souls.

Read the article. Immigrants make up 8% of the population yet commit 40% of the rapes.

I guess this is just a racist, brainless, right wing fact.

 

Name calling, the main weapon of the left.

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observer90210    1,222
6 minutes ago, jesimps said:

Read the article. Immigrants make up 8% of the population yet commit 40% of the rapes.

I guess this is just a racist, brainless, right wing fact.

 

Name calling, the main weapon of the left.

Sorry if my initial post was not to your high standards. Ok so you are right, I surrender....I will abide to what you suggest, all migrants are bad, scum, criminals etc......happy?

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BuaBS    1,949
6 hours ago, gintis0604 said:

The women in those countries have to pay the price.

Gang rapes every day. Even boys are raped by Afghan youngsters.

And yet they vote for parties that allow or incourage immigrants.

If women represent roughly 50 % of the population , wouldn't they all vote for an anti-rape party ? It says something about women , that I can't write here or be deleted.

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nausea    1,058
2 hours ago, jesimps said:

Read the article. Immigrants make up 8% of the population yet commit 40% of the rapes.

The proportion of young men in the general population is going to be very different from that in the immigrant population. It would be useful to have some kind of demographic breakdown; then we could compare the rape rate among immigrants with that among a similar section of the general population. I mean just how much worse are immigrants than the general population when comparing like with like.

 

Certainly, an influx of single young men into any population is going to have an effect sexually; just what that effect is depends on multiple factors, including the cultural attitudes on both sides. For example, in Thailand during the Vietnam era there was a massive increase in prostitution, but young American soldiers coming from a relatively liberal minded background were perceived as mostly wealthy and attractive, by a culture with a long tradition of prostitution. 

 

In Europe, by contrast, we have a mass influx of mostly young male immigrants coming from a misogynistic culture who are perceived as mostly poor and, I guess, unattractive, into a culture where females dress how they like and do what they want. Predicting the resulting increase in sexual offences is hardly rocket science, and denying this effect, in pursuit of some idealistic dream, is foolish.

 

How you deal with it is another matter, but certainly both sides in the debate need to recognise the reality of the situation. Immigrants are human beings acting in purely human ways, demonising them as monsters or idealising them as poor victims doesn't help, if we're to have an effective solution to the problem.

 

9 hours ago, bert bloggs said:

back in the 80s and 90s i loved it in Rome , a few years ago what a difference ,it was like a different country ,full of immegrants , will never go again .

Interesting, back in the 70s my sister and her friend (both teenagers) went to Paris, and had no end of problems being followed around by groups of North Africans, even then.

Edited by nausea
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CG1 Blue    149
1 hour ago, nausea said:

The proportion of young men in the general population is going to be very different from that in the immigrant population. It would be useful to have some kind of demographic breakdown; then we could compare the rape rate among immigrants with that among a similar section of the general population. I mean just how much worse are immigrants than the general population when comparing like with like.

I understand what you're saying here, but I'm not so sure it solves anything.  Unless we ask those countries to send us migrants with more diversity.

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nausea    1,058
1 hour ago, CG1 Blue said:

I understand what you're saying here, but I'm not so sure it solves anything.  Unless we ask those countries to send us migrants with more diversity.

No, it doesn't solve anything; if there'd been no immigrants, there'd been 40% fewer rapes, and I'm pretty sure any adjusted figure would still show the immigrants in a bad light; but I think we should base our arguments on sound reasoning not sound bites, we had too much of that in the UK during the Brexit campaign.

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BANGKOK 27 September 2017 04:55
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