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Italian minister praises France's crackdown on Roma

Roma, 21.8.2010 23:34, (AFP)

Italy's interior minister on Saturday praised France's crackdown on Roma and Gypsies, saying it was "simply copying Italy" in flying more than 200 members of the minority to Romania this week.

"For years now, Italy has been using the technique of voluntary and assisted repatriation," Roberto Maroni, one of the leading figures in the anti-immigrant Northern League, said in an interview published in the daily Corriere della Sera.
Maroni said he would like Italy to be able to expel EU citizens that do not meet minimum requirements for income and housing and who weigh on the host state's finances.

"Many Roma are EU citizens but do not fulfill any of these requirements," said Maroni, whose party that is the main ally of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in parliament.

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