Of course, without knowing anything about Italy or its present government a reader might think, “well, yes, that is a problem.” Every country has a right to its own immigration policy and rules are rules. You can’t just float up on a beach, half dead from the sun and the salt, and perhaps even after having seen your friends and family drown and expect to be welcomed by the local authorities. Bruttissima figura (very bad form) as the Italians would say.
The fact that at least a quarter of the Rom in Italy are Italian citizens, and have been for generations, and as such have the right to go wherever they please in the country doesn’t seem to bother anyone in the government. The equation, gypsy = thief (or worse) has been not so subtly reinforced in people’s minds and that’s all that matters. A convenient scapegoat has been found, and if the cost of living in Italy is sky high and families are finding it harder and harder to save or even make it to the end of the month, well, then at least they know that there’s someone below them in the social pecking order.
Having lived and worked in Italy for over twenty years, I am sad to see this happening, but it's not totally unexpected. Berlusconi’s pogrom against i diversi (the different) is a part of a worldwide trend, a planetary disease pitting the rich against the poor.
Of course, you could say that this isn’t the first time that the Italians have led the rest of the planet boldly into the future. Back in the 1920’s they were at the forefront of another social trend, but then history never repeats itself, right?