Italian police forced homeless people in Rome to leave their makeshift houses on the banks of the Tiber river last week in the start of a racist crackdown.
Rome’s centre left mayor Walter Veltroni has used the robbery and murder of an Italian woman as an excuse to bulldoze and empty out camps across the city inhabited mainly by Romanian Roma.
Prime minister Romano Prodi has brought in a new law allowing the deportation of EU citizens on the grounds of “public security”.
Meanwhile, groups of fascist thugs have taken advantage of the climate of racism.
Three Roma were hospitalised on Friday of last week after being attacked by a masked, club-wielding gang.