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Roma children in Serbia. Screenshot from YouTube

In Italy’s legal Roma camps almost no one pays municipal taxes

The complaint of the councilor of the League, Silvia Sardone was made public: "It is the umpteenth shame for a left that continues to be mocked by the nomads."

Published: December 6, 2019, 12:43 pm

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    There are several illegal and legal Roma camps in Milan but the difference can hardly be seen, given that in both cases those who live in them do not pay municipal taxes. In the first case they are irregular and unauthorized anyway, while in the second most inhabitants do not pay rent.

    Roma settlements have sprung up illegally in Via Vaiano Valle, Via Cusago and Via Monte Bisbino and Bonfadini. Together with these, however, there are the regular camps, five to be precise, located in Via Negrotto, Via Bonfadini, Via Chiesa Rossa, Via Martirano and Via Impastato, opened between 1987 and 2003, as reported by Italian daily by Libero.

    But even in the legal camps, not everyone follows the rules as they should and often do not pay rent to the municipality.

    The situation was reported by Silvia Sardone, city councilor and member of the Lega, who revealed: “From 2016 to today in the Roma camp in Via Bonfadini, the default of non-paying families amounts to over 31 000 euros; in the same period, in the Roma camp of Via Negrotto, a default of just under 30 000 euros was registered.”

    These figures were made available by the municipal administration, which had responded to two questions from the councilor.

    More than 60 000 euros were registered in the shortfall, therefore, and that is only in two of the Roma camps. But it is not only the Roma of Via Bonfandini and Negrotto who are in default. The situation, in fact, is similar to that of the Villaggio Martirano, which in June 2014 was called the “best in Europe”.

    Too bad that only 20 percent of the inhabitants pay their rent. Then there is the settlement of Via Chiesa Rossa, where “only one family out of 47 is in good standing with payments”.

    Sardone blames the left for this unhealthy situation and especially Guiseppe Sala Democratic Party member and Mayor of Milan. “The Sala junta blabbers on about integration, inclusion, welcome, but in return it only receives slaps in the face. It is yet another shame for a left that continues to be made fun of by the nomads.”

    The Lega official said that “it is time to say enough”. He added: “The elderly, the disabled and the people in economic difficulties who live in social housing are forced to go out of their way to pay their bills, while the Roma are free not to pay anything?”

    There is another troubling aspect, which emerged from the administration’s data, according to Sardone: The numbers simply do not add up.

    “The Municipality writes that in the Via Bonfadini field there are 4 out of 9 families in order, while in the Via Negrotto field they are 10 out of 15. In these settlements… [and] I have been there several times and I can guarantee that in Bonfadini the pitches are many more than 9 and in Negrotto many more than 15.”

    The actual numbers therefore, do not correspond to reality. “Moreover, in the last census of Palazzo Marino released in May 2018, we read that in Via Bonfadini there are 40 families and in Via Negrotto 27. The accounts do not add up: perhaps because the balance are squatters? If so it would be very serious.”

    Finally, the League’s councilor closes with an attack on the mayor, Beppe Sala: “He had promised to go beyond the fields to clean up. Not only was there no half-evacuation, but even every time I investigate the Roma in Milan, I discover higher numbers and scandalous and disrespectful information for all Milanese citizens.”

    In Rome, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, a close aide to the pope and the Vatican’s official charity chief, ignored the law when he broke a police seal to a squatted building in the city, where the Roma were not paying electricity bills.

    League leader Matteo Salvini has been a fierce critic of Roma-friendly policies, vowing to expel as many Roma as possible, while admitting that “unfortunately some are Italian citizens”.

    During his stint as interior minister, Salvini sent a letter to provincial representatives requesting “a report on the presence of Roma, Sinti and Camminanti settlements” in their territories in order to “draw up an eviction plan” with the aim to clear out the illegal camps.

    According to the Council of Europe, there are between 120 000 and 180 000 Roma, Sinti and Caminanti in Italy. An estimated population of 10-12 million live in Europe, approximately six million of whom live in the EU. They have settled in Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Hungary and Slovakia, by order of volume.

    Significant concentrations are found in the Balkan peninsula, in some Central European states, in Spain, France, Russia, and Ukraine.

    In April 2011, the European Commission issued a Communication on an EU framework for national Roma integration strategies, including the monitoring and assisting EU-wide efforts to implement the EU’s plan for Roma integration.

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