Gypsies in Italy forced to give fingerprints

Gypsy children dragged kicking and screaming to have their fingerprints (and other biometric data) taken.

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

While the European Parliament has, very narrowly, adopted a resolution calling on Italy to halt its anti-Gypsy actions, the regime of Il Duce II, of PM Berlusconi, goes full steam ahead with the ethnic database on all Gypsies living in camps (I guess any that are known and live in houses will soon be dragged in as well).

While the European Parliament in its resolution called the actions of the Berlusconi regime racist it would appear that no one really intends to do anything about it. Not that I, as a Gypsy, am surprised by this.

While the European parliamentarians in word condemned the actions – as said, with a very narrow margin – of Berluscon's Italy and stated that those acts are against the European Convention on Human Rights it would appear that the Italian authorities are sticking up two fingers towards Brussels (Strasbourg) (always depending where the parliament was sitting at the time) and press on with what they have planned to do.

The database will include, so it is said, the racial/ethnic origin, e.g. which Gypsy group, the religious affiliation and beliefs, and also which school visited and which results reached on leaving school.

If this does not smack entirely of the same kind of registrations that were the precursor to the persecution of the Romani People under Hitler than I do not know.

While the parliamentarians of the European Parliament may make all those noises and pass those resolutions the European Commission and the Council of Europe, the real powers – unelected – behind the European Union, are not going to do anything at all, it would appear. And then again, why should they? Is it not, at least so it would appear to any that are not blind, the full intention of the European Union to act against the “Gypsy problem”, for it is not only in Italy where official anti-Gypsy pogroms and other such actions are taking place. The ghettoisation – forced – in the former Czechoslovakia is but another example, as are the actions, planned and already enacted, of the French government appertaining to the Gypsies in its country and those coming into the country especially.

It would appear to anyone not familiar with the current caleandar and its dates that we are in the Europe of 1938 rather than 2008. History is repeating itself and, because it is just Gypsies that are being rounded up, no one is actually going to do anything.

The problem is also that the resolution of the European Parliament, which calls for Italy to stop its anti-Gypsy actions, is not binding on the government of Italy. In other words, it is but rhetoric and words and the parliamentarians know and knew that full well when they went for this and the gimmick of giving their own fingerprints.

The Italian foreign minister and former EU justice minister, Franco Frattini,called the reactions of the EU as politically motivated.

There are currently some 700 Gypsy camps in Italy, the majority near Rome, Naples, or Milan and in those reside thousands of Sinti and Rom, and all of them will be the target for those anti-Gypsy measures of the regime of Berlusconi. Il Duce would be proud of him and Adolf Hitler even more so. I am sure Heinrich Himmler would have elevated him to a general in the SS.

If the Sinti of Italy think that they are safe and that this is only going to affect the Roma then they better think again. And if the rest of the Romani, in the EU and elsewhere, think that it may not happen to where they are, a rethink, I would advise, to be necessary too.

We are alone in this world as a People, and we ourselves alone can only do something. It is time that we did.

AVA! Ame Shai!

© M Smith (Veshengro), July 2008