The new Italian government is going ahead with plans to crack down on crime and illegal immigrants. Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, announced the five point plan 13 May at the conclusion of a meeting with Milan mayor, Letizia Moratti. He also announced that Milan prefect, Gian Valerio Lombardi, will be named Special Commissioner for the Rom Emergency. The spike in crime over the last year or so has been largely attributed to an influx of Rom from Romania, which became a member of the European Union in January 2007.

The plan will be aimed at combating illegal immigration and may include a new measure that for the first time will make it a criminal offense to be on Italian soil illegally. It is likely that the Italian government will seek to take advantage of a recent European Union directive which makes it possible to deport EU citizens who commit crimes in another member state or who cannot show that they have a means of supporting themselves. Municipalities are to be given new instruments in fighting crime, which may include allowing city police to carry weapons. The plan, which is to be adopted in the form of a decree-law (one which can take effect even before it is passed by parliament), will include longer jail terms for certain crimes and new guidelines for the fight against organised crime.

Sari Gilbert, Stranitalia

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