Skip to Content

Riace, Wikipedia

Italian mayor ousted after his migrant integration scheme implodes

Former mayor Domenico “Mimmo” Lucano of Riace in southern Italy's rural Calabria, has been ousted from his position by Lega supporters after his experiment in welcoming migrants failed miserably.

Published: June 10, 2019, 11:28 am


    He had encouraged migrants to settle in his village to counter a gradual demographic decline of inhabitants in a show of how migrant integration could be a success.

    But now he is no longer even a member of the town council after leftists lost in the elections. Lucano himself has been barred from the town, reported AFP. In 2010, Lucano had come second runner-up for the World Mayor competition.

    He was also listed by Fortune as one of the world’s greatest leaders in 2016, featuring at number 40 in the magazine’s listing.

    The disgraced mayor is due in court next week to face corruption charges including that he failed to put a rubbish collection contract to tender. The lucratice contract had simply been given to a migrant-linked cooperative.

    Last year already, Lucano was placed under house arrest for allegedly setting up fake marriages to help foreign women stay in the country after their asylum applications were rejected. Lucano’s companion, Tesfahun Lemlem, is also under investigation and may lose her Italian residency.

    But before his fall from grace, German director Wim Wenders made a documentary in 2010 featuring the leftist mayor and Riace’s migrants.

    The town had taken in around 6 000 migrants, opened shops and workshops and even launched its own currency stamped with the heads of Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King. “But that model of tolerance and inclusion has disappeared,” according to AFP.

    “Almost everyone has gone. There aren’t even any more children,” said Daniel, a 37-year-old Ghanaian.

    The “Riace reborn” list, backed by Matteo Salvini’s Lega, provided many of votes for the winning 41.8 percent during the election.

    “Here, we need order and discipline,” said agricultural engineer Claudio Falchi, who three years ago became Lega leader in the small town. “It’s not racism, it’s just that this is our home. We welcome them and then they make problems,” he added.

    “They were fighting among themselves, they didn’t want the crucifix, or the creche,” Falchi said of the migrants.

    The town is notable as the place where the Bronzi di Riace (Riace bronzes), bronze statues of warriors, were found in the sea in 1972. These Ancient Greek sculptures can be seen in the Museo Nazionale della Magna Grecia.

    On the southern island of Lampedusa, where many illegals arrive, the Lega won more than 45 percent of votes.


    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Salvini wants referendum to stop leftist coalition from opening ports

    PontidaAddressing a crowd of 80 000 supporters, Italian League leader, Senator Matteo Salvini called for a referendum on immigration to stop the new government from reopening Italy’s ports to pro-immigration NGOs.

    Heidelberg: Ignorance is the drug of choice

    HeidelbergAnyone who has heard of Heidelberg in Germany, probably thinks of a tranquil little town on the Neckar river, a place full of beautiful sights, a well-preserved historic centre with many tourists and students. But that perfect world has been shattered by the recent case from the district of Emmertsgrund.

    German President launches fresh attack on AfD

    BerlinThe AfD rejected the criticism from Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stating that the Alternative for Germany was not a bourgeois party. "A Federal President should not interfere in the party politics," said the AfD chairman Alexander Gauland.

    The city of Pescara celebrates its soldier-poet Gabriele D’Annunzio

    PescaraFrom September 7 to 15, Pescara, the capital city of Italian Abruzzo region, will celebrate la Festa della Rivoluzione – d’Annunzio torna a Pescara [Revolution festival – d’Annunzio returns to Pescara]. His legacy has inspired Italian sovereignists.

    Betrayal by Bannon

    A story of failures: How Steve Bannon tried to split the Vatican and dragged Matteo Salvini into his misfortune.

    Antwerp: Vlaams Belang leader denounces Islam from rooftops

    Antwerp Flemish Member of Parliament and Antwerp City Councilor Filip Dewinter climbed onto the roof of the Antwerp town hall to highlight the Flemish port city's demography.

    Italy’s new government green-lights NGO landings

    RomeThe new direction of the Italian Conte II Cabinet regarding migrants has been outlined, and it is a different route, if not the opposite, to the one taken in the last 14 months by Matteo Salvini.

    Arctic thaw could see rise in Sino-Russian cooperation

    Climate change and technological advances will soon see the Arctic opening up to new trade routes, and the region's growing economic potential as well as military infrastructure are demanding the attention of global powers.

    Yellow Vests: Renewed mobilization

    For the start of the new academic year, a few thousand Yellow Vests gathered in several major cities in France, marking an increase in mobilization after the summer. Clashes erupted in Montpellier and Rouen in particular.

    The New Dissident Podcast

    Mateusz Piskorski, first political prisoner of Poland, and Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor-in-chief of German ZUERST! newsmagazine will soon be launching their geopolitical podcast – with special guest Prof Alexander Dugin.

    Go to archive