2008 August 04 Monday
Illegal Immigrant Backlash In Italy Against Gypsies

The Italian military has been sent into the streets to cut down on crime in Italy.

ROME — Soldiers were deployed throughout Italy on Monday to embassies, subway and railway stations, as part of broader government measures to fight violent crime here for which illegal immigrants are broadly blamed.

By the time it is fully effective next week, the effort will flank regular police officers and the military police with 3,000 troops, a visible signal to citizens that the government “has responded to their demands for greater security,” Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said in an interview on the Italian Sky News channel.

The Italian government is conducting a census of the Gypsies.

Italy has also started a controversial census of Roma which involved the fingerprinting and photographing of all adults and children over 14 years old.

Roma - sometimes referred to as gypsies - are often blamed in Italy for the rising crime rate across the country and in recent weeks camps in Naples and Rome have been targeted in arson attacks.

In May an alleged Gypsy attempt to steal a baby resulted in vigilante groups in Naples chasing Gypsies out of town.

The incidents in Naples began when a 16-year-old Roma girl was caught inside an apartment last weekend, allegedly trying to steal a six-month-old baby girl.

Her arrest has sparked two days of bitter protests.

On Wednesday night, vigilante groups in the suburb of Ponticelli took to the streets chasing the Roma out of two squatter camps.

Molotov cocktails were thrown into makeshift huts as the Roma fled for the local police station. When they had gone, the two camps were torched.

Dublin Ireland has Gypsy troubles. The collapse of the Soviet bloc has released gypsies into Western Europe and Gypsy crime has predictably resulted in backlashes that are politically incorrect by American standards.

A recent arrival of a bunch of illegal immigrants (mostly from Africa) by boat shows that Italy's illegal immigrant problem goes well beyond the Gypsies.

Some 800 immigrants arrived in Southern Italy on Thursday (31 July), just a few days after the country declared a national state of emergency over what it describes as the "exceptional and persistent influx" of irregular immigrants.

A boat with some 400 hundred people on board was guided by Italian Coast Guard officers into the port of Lampedusa – a small island south of the Italian mainland, the Associated Press reports.

Subsequently, a series of smaller boats bearing some 400 additional people were intercepted by the Coast Guard, bringing the total number of detainees to 876, according to Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Some governments of Europe are cracking down on illegal immigrants much more aggressively than the US government has so far. But since Obama just caved on offshore drilling I figure there's a chance we can pressure him into tougher immigration restriction measures as well.

Update: Go read Stephen Browne's Rants and Raves blog post about Gypsies.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 August 04 10:18 PM  Immigration Crime

HellKaiserRyo said at August 4, 2008 11:35 PM:

This is what I want Randall: hypocrisy. (Saying one thing and doing the other.) I want the rhetoric of "diversity" but the actions of let's say John Tanton on immigration. Stricter immigration might be necessary to preserve the perceived veracity of the noble lies. .

Wolf-Dog said at August 5, 2008 2:44 AM:

Although it is true that the collapse of the Soviet Union allowed the Eastern European Gypsies to move to Western European countries, probably most Italian Gypsies were mostly local Gypsies whose ancestors were living there for several generations. The last time I checked, the Gypsies were not converting to Wahhabism, and they were not becoming terrorists.

SPQR said at August 5, 2008 6:10 AM:

Gypsies are low rent scum, whether newly arrived or having been parasites in Italy for several generations. I applaud the Italian people and their actions. Remove the vermin from their midst! Nothing else will work. Avanti o popolo, alla riscossa!

dchamil said at August 5, 2008 6:37 AM:

Wolf-Dog, go read the Oct. 4, 2006, post on gypsies by Stephen Browne in his Rants and Raves blog right here, then come back and tell us of the splendid cultural enrichment which the gypsies provide. In the account by Browne, filthy Polish gypsies will enter a restaurant and repeatedly stroke the arms of seated patrons, murmuring, "Dear sir, dear sir." You have to pay them to make them go away.

dchamil said at August 5, 2008 6:44 AM:

The problem of boat people from Africa is especially acute on the crowded island of Malta, located about halfway from Sicily to Africa. How prescient indeed was the book Camp of the Saints, written around 1973 by Jean Raspail.

Robert Hume said at August 5, 2008 6:49 AM:

I've often hoped that Obama would turn out to be tough on immigration because it would help poor blacks.

SPQR said at August 5, 2008 6:56 AM:

"I've often hoped that Obama would turn out to be tough on immigration because it would help poor blacks."

He "cares" about poor blacks in the sense that they are politically useful to him, nothing more.

HellKaiserRyo said at August 5, 2008 7:38 AM:

I really thought civil societies that have the resources would just give them welfare so they could live out their lives somewhere so they do not bother other people or make the streets unpleasant to other people. I wonder what will happen if there is a social security system of gypsies in Poland (assuming that they could afford it.) Will they be sheltered, protected from the cruel world and making their poverty less visible? Or will they use the money on something else (instead of shelter) and insist to be beggars.

I only have one problem with the welfare state: it might encourage the reproduction of its recipients. (For gypsies this risk is rather high.) Without this negative externality, I have no other strong objection to the welfare state since in Western democracies there are more than enough resources to feed and clothe them even if a large fraction of them do not work.

Maybe, maybe, one has to sterilize them. However, it might be possible to manipulate them to avoid recourse that unpalatable option by making them watch soap operas.

coleraine said at August 5, 2008 9:29 AM:

The last time I checked, the Gypsies were not converting to Wahhabism, and they were not becoming terrorists.

Therefore being robbed and/or beaten by a gang of them is OK? Gypsies are far more likely to be criminals than Arab Muslims. Terrorism is a minor problem compared to the degradation of town after town due to the anti-social behaviour that is part of gypsy culture.

Aghast said at August 5, 2008 9:32 AM:

"I only have one problem with the welfare state: it might encourage the reproduction of its recipients."

Might!? Where have you been?

HellKaiserRyo said at August 5, 2008 10:01 AM:

I suppose the Northern European welfare states have below replacement rate fertility.

Maybe the best way to deal with the gypsies are to become tough on crime. Just send them to jail, but when they are in jail give them nice clothes to wear, food, water, and medical care there. (And protect them from people who would want to rape them and other prisons) It would probably be more expensive to do this to them, but it is much more humane.

Such people have forfeit their right to what we call in Western democracies "liberty" by their criminal actions, but we should at least reduce their suffering.

Dragon Horse said at August 5, 2008 1:15 PM:

A lot of complaints what are the solutions...eventually most of the Eastern block with the largest percentage of gypsies will be open to free immigration into the EU...such as Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, etc. That means Gypsies will be free to go wherever they want in the EU. Obviously the Roma are not going back to Northern India so what do you do?

Anyway it goes you will pay money. You pay by having higher insurance costs due to break-ins, not sure of every individual countries medical care system but you pay tax or higher premiums for medical insurance the more it has to be used for poor sick Gypsies or victims of gang violence, you pay for policing them, you pay for judging them, you pay for lawyers, you pay for housing in food and housing in prison, you pay all their medical care in prison, etc.

So when you add all that up is it more money than some type of massive social engineering project (not affirmative action) but a one shot Marshall Plan or some such thing...I'm not expert on any of it, but there has to be a more constructive way to spend money. There is no way the EU is going to revoke their citizenship and deport them to India or put them in a concentration camp, so forget that. So the issue is how best to solve the problem.

HellKaiserRyo said at August 5, 2008 6:39 PM:

I propose putting them in prison as a means to house them and protect them from society.

z said at August 6, 2008 5:58 PM:

I had a European friend once explain to me just how useless the Roma (Gypsies) are. Despite the fact that schools are open to them, adult education programs are open to them, and some jobs are open to them, they want none of it. They literally want to live as a parasitic group on the host civilization. They get state benefits, but this is not enough, they augment their "income" by scams, pickpocketing, stealing, etc. They will not inbreed with the host population, but insist on joining pairs of their offspring together as unions at extremely young ages, making sure they stay around as an indigenous group to leech off the area they are in.

What to do? Enforce the law, and imprison them with no bail when they are caught doing something (they get out on bail and hit the road and go live somewhere else). A speedy trial within a few weeks and a few years in prison. This will keep enough of the males in prison long enough that many will consider making a square living after a time. IF they do not, then so many of them will be in prison in their youth that the females will have to either outbreed to continue their numbers or all will have to share the fewer numbers of males remaining at large.

This group really and truly ought be ashamed of its behavior. Other than a little music and dance, they've contributed practically nothing to civilization.

Stephen said at August 6, 2008 7:56 PM:

Oh pls, we're just talking about gypsies. Don't you think there's a lack of proportionality in your proposal?

Wolf-Dog said at August 6, 2008 9:57 PM:

DCHamil, in the web page ( http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/10/life-in-europe-observing-beggars.html ) of Stephen Browne against Gypsies that YOU mentioned above, it is also said that "There are plenty of Gypsies in Bulgaria, I believe the second highest percentage of population after Rumania, but the ones I saw were working construction not begging. When I asked I was told that “We are a proud people.” and that Bulgarians do not beg. Perhaps as a consequence, Bulgarians are not quite as ready to give alms. I was told that tipping is rather foreign to them as well."

In other words, not all Gypsies are the same in every country. If it is really true that the Gypsies of Bulgaria have completely absorbed the Bulgarian work ethic instead of resorting to crime as in Italy and many other countries, then perhaps it is not a good idea to classify them as a race of thieves.

Incidentally, conversely, it can also be argued that despite DaVinci, Galileo and Vivaldi, although it is true that many Italian Gypsies are involved in crime, it is also true that in many other parts of Italy where the Gypsies are very rare, pickpockets and thieves still represent a serious problem, so bad that the U.S. consulate in Italy warns tourists that crime against tourists is a serious problem in those regions of Italy where the Gypsies are very rare. But if this is the case, then, perhaps the old French proverb that "each country has the kind of Jew it deserves" (i.e. the Jews in the world pathologically absorb and exaggerate the culture of their adopted countries), might apply here. In some sense, perhaps the chronic minority status of Gypsies and Jews represent a common quality in this context. It was pointed out that in many countries, the more despised jobs such as money lending in Europe were taken by by desperate Jews who could not get other jobs, and in the case of Gypsies in Turkey, becoming an executioner was often a job accepted by the Gypsies who could not get jobs due to their isolation. But in the case of Bulgaria, maybe the Gypsies are better assimilated by the local population, and as a result, not all of them have "standard Gypsy behavior." In the United States, Jews are so well assimilated that many Jews are very difficult to discern by looking at their culture and what they do for living, which is in astounding contrast to Europe, where despite the European tradition democracy and so-called "high-culture", European Jews are still forced by discrimination to have the social characteristics of a minority, and as such, their behavior, their professions, etc, often remain classified as "Jewish".

Randall Parker said at August 6, 2008 10:28 PM:


Why do you want the rhetoric of diversity? There's only so far that hypocrisy can take us. You are making the gap between the rhetoric and reality too large. Therefore you continue to be part of the problem even though you recognize that solutions are needed.

Prisons are expensive. But I expect expensive solutions from you. After all, you aren't conservative.

We are better off creating separate countries for high crime and otherwise incompatible groups. Where to create the countries? Where borders can be made. I'm thinking some islands and remote peninsulas.

Another option: pay them to leave and pay a really messed up place to take them. There are already Muslim countries where we can pay Muslims to go to. Is there a logical place for the gypsies to go?

Randall Parker said at August 6, 2008 10:32 PM:

I second dchamil's recommendation on Stephen Browne's Rants and Raves blog post about Gypsies. I think most people in the US do not realize what Gypsy communities are like. Some stereotypes are based firmly on reality.

Rick said at August 7, 2008 5:01 AM:

We're actually hoping they will manage to kick ALL UNWANTED IMMIGRATES including Africans, Muslisms, Eastern Europeans and part of the Asians, and part of Hispanic...the new entry in Italian immigration and they are already stinking for their habit to create gangs.....and marking territories like my dog when he pees on lighting poles.

The silent majority of Italians would definitely like the stinkies to get back to their countries. We'll call them if we need them.

Dragon Horse said at August 7, 2008 6:08 AM:

Randall: "We are better off creating separate countries for high crime and otherwise incompatible groups. Where to create the countries? Where borders can be made. I'm thinking some islands and remote peninsulas."

If Gypsies have parasitic cultural trains in some regions those folks aren't going to be going to an island. To do what? Feed off each other? Short of armed force that is not going to happen. How do you think your proposed 21st century "Trail of Tears" will look on 24 hour a day news?


Tad bit fascist...but that's not really shocking. The EU is never going to do this anyway so it doesn't much matter. You can pay Gypsies to leave but they are EU citizens so they can't be forced and there is no place for them to go. Better to study what the Bulgarians have done with their Gypsies to make them more productive and see if it can be implemented elsewhere. From what I've heard Spanish Gypsies are also fairly integrated...well that is if you are not completely sold on "relocating people to the East" like that great (said sarcastically) German leader of the 1930's and 40's...LOL

This is where Randall saddens me.

Bob Badour said at August 7, 2008 7:47 AM:

Dragon Horse,

For much of recent history, both Bulgaria and Spain were led by totalitarian regimes and authoritarian leaders. Randall is suggesting we pay people to go somewhere. You are suggesting we follow the lead of two places that undoubtedly used draconian and violent methods.

Grief said at August 7, 2008 1:15 PM:

You are suggesting we follow the lead of two places that undoubtedly used draconian and violent methods.

Careful, Bob. Dragon Horse is already saddended by mean Mr. Randall.

Randall Parker said at August 7, 2008 5:21 PM:


Yes, how dare I demand that parasites not feed off me. I'm a mean guy for making that demand.

Randall Parker said at August 7, 2008 5:33 PM:

Dragon Horse,

If Gypsies have parasitic traits why do we need to submit to their parasitism? Where does my moral obligation for self sacrifice come from?

You try to paint me as a fascist because I do not want to engage in self sacrifice to people who do not deserve my sacrifice. Why do you want to force the productive to support the parasites?

HellKaiserRyo said at August 7, 2008 8:59 PM:

I propose putting them in prison (if they steal) where they wouldn't bother people. I think that is a better solution than Randall's trail of tears.

Randall Parker said at August 7, 2008 9:26 PM:


Trail of tears? Paying people to leave does not cause a trail of bodies marched for hundreds of miles. I'm not proposing an Andy Jackson 19th century approach.

Inappropriate historical analogies just allow you to sidestep the depth of the problem by arguing that real solutions are not ethically acceptable.

Prisons: People have to violate the rights of others typically many times before getting caught. All the murderers in prison aren't going to murder again as long as they are held (their killing of fellow inmates aside). But they leave a trail of bodies before they get to prison. What about those murder victims? Ditto the rape victims for all the rapists in prison. Ditto the other victims of other crimes.

My take is that the crime rate should drop by an order of magnitude. But the United States already has the highest incarceration rate in the world. You are complaining about a so-called trail of tears as a result of my proposal. Yet my proposal would drastically reduce the number of people we imprison and the number of victims in Italy, France, Britain, America, or wherever else it could be tried.

HellKaiserRyo said at August 8, 2008 4:50 AM:

As long as they are not forced coercively to leave, fine.

Proofreader said at August 9, 2008 2:41 AM:

Is there a logical place for the gypsies to go?

Sure, India is their homeland. Why not send them back? But I don't think they'll be welcome there as they were expelled from the country to start with, and obviously India has no shortage of beggars and thieves.

Gypsies have to be the only ethnic group on earth that display no redeeming features whatsoever. They are lazy, parasitic, criminal, violent, and hostile to their hosts on top on that, the darlings.

Lion said at January 2, 2009 10:41 PM:

Gypsies in former Yugoslavia and in Serbia have worked as a secret agents for the Yugoslav state security service - UDB!

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