Berlusconi exploits Islam and the Roma in his attack on the left
Five days before the second round of municipal elections is set to take place in Italy, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has said the left wing wants to change Milan, an economic metropolis of the country, into "an Islamic city full of Roma". The PM published the remarks yesterday on the web page of his party, the People of Freedom (PDL). "Milan cannot be allowed to become an Islamic city, a Romopolis full of Roma camps and encircled by foreigners whom the left even wants to give the right to vote," he said.
Left-wing candidate Giuliano Pisapia won 48 % of the vote in the first round of elections in Milan, while the current mayor, PDL candidate Letizia Moratti, won just 41.6 %. The second round of voting is scheduled to take place on 29 and 30 May.
Silvio Berlusconi was born in Milan and the city has been considered a bastion of his electoral support. He called on the residents of Milan to vote for Moratti, reminding them that the elections are significant to the future of the city and to everyone.
"A city like Milan, which is one of Europe's most important metropolises from the point of view of creative thought, entrepreneurial spirit, and intelligence, naturally will not want to deliver itself into the hands of the left and risk becoming a chaotic city without security," Berlusconi said. "We must vote because we do not want to hand Milan over to the authoritarian left. We must vote to defend our freedom, our interests, and our rights."
Berlusconi regularly expresses anti-communist sentiment and has enjoyed assuming the pose of a victim of "red" judges during the many trials in which he has been the defendant. Last Friday he declared that the residents of Milan don't want the city "to fall into the hands of left-wing extremists."
Almost 13 million Italians voted for mayors in more than 1 300 municipalities out of a total of 8 100 during the first round of municipal elections. Of the municipalities where elections were held, only 11 have populations over 100 000, such as Bologna, Milan, Naples and Turin. The left won in Bologna and Turin during the first round, achieved good results in Milan, and failed in Naples.