Two deadly car accidents in southern Italy, the 16 victims of which were foreign farm (non-EU) workers returning from their day’s work, were enough for the hardline Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini to blitz Bulgaria and Romania for sending “slaves” to the country, and Western Europe in general. At the same time he called Sofia and Bucharest to restrict the human trafficking and exploitation cases.
Quoting him Il Messaggero and TGcom24.Mediaset.it. reported that he said: “We’ll try to enforce coercion measures for the legality of transports; 300 transportation means have been seized lately, delivery vans with Bulgarian license plates, which had no insurance. There is also an import of slaves from the EU countries: Romania and Bulgaria. I will write to my colleagues from these countries for, considering they are part of the European Union, must take actions in their turn to have control on the transportation means and on people. The goal is a transparent management of transports, in order to stop businesses of the organized crime groups.”
On Thursday, Romania’s Foreign Ministry (MAE) replied to his accusations, however, in a rather mild way, mainly highlighting that any association between the citizens of a country and a criminal activity is not acceptable.
“MAE considers as unacceptable any association between the citizens of a country and a criminal activity, any manifestation that can generate racial hatred or xenophobia. The situation of the citizens who commit crimes must be addressed without stereotypes and, in no case, based on ethnic grounds. The law must be equally and firmly enforced, regardless of the citizenship or ethnicity. As a EU member state, Romania is showing a deep concern and is acting to prevent and counter illegal immigration and human trafficking, regardless of their manifestations: beggary, sexual exploitation, labour exploitation”, the Ministry’s statement reads.
Bucharest underlined it closely “monitors” the Romanians abroad and has made sure to have the right officials wherever and whenever necessary so as to minimise the risks of having its own citizens behave inappropriately abroad.
Moreover, MAE let Salvini know it has done its homework raising awareness on the risks of illegal work, human trafficking and labour exploitation among its nationals who live and work away from Romania…. / IBNA