Italy's main anti-immigrant party, a pillar of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition, praised France's expulsion of scores of Roma on Thursday as a model to follow.
Claudio d'Amico, a lawmaker with the Northern League, said he believed "the line adopted by France on repatriating the Roma is the right line to follow" as Italy mulls ways to deal with its own soaring immigration.
He said Rome would have to act "as quickly as possible" to block Roma expelled by France to Romania from heading to Italy.
"We have to give a strong signal to avoid that happening. It must be made clear to all, Roma and non-Roma, that in our country those who live on the edge and in volation of the law are not tolerated and mustn't put a foot on Italian soil," he said.
France on Thursday began expelling scores of Roma, packing them on planes and flying them back to Romania at the start of a crackdown ordered by President Nicolas Sarkozy which has drawn strong criticism at home.
Italy's 160,000 Roma community has long been at the centre of debate over immigration policy and security, stoked repeatedly by the Northern League, an essential ally in Berlusconi's return to power in 2008.
The coalition campaigned on pledges of cracking down on illegal immigration and crime, often linking the two.
Human rights groups like Amnesty International have criticised an increase in discrimination in Italy against groups like the Roma and African farm workers, who have come under violent attack in the south of the country.
Long a magnet for economic migrants from Africa, Italy earlier this year introduced a new policy to turn back immigrants before they arrive on Italian shores aboard boats from north Africa.
© 2010 AFP
Although hard to imagine, the shortage in the skilled and highly-educated workforces is expected to grow in the coming years. Expatica therefore introduces the International Job Fair, the event for pursuing an international career in the Netherlands.
Meet the most eligible internationals in France at Expatica Date!
Join Expatica's online community to reach out for expats just like you!
This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes information on business hierarchy, negotiations, and etiquette.
A listing of organizations in the Paris area that cater primarily to Americans living in France. Updated April 2011.
Our handy guide to the British community in Paris, from cricket clubs to Scottish country dancing lessons to where to find a jar of Marmite.
Here's a short introduction to our Banking section for those living in France, from how to open a bank account to Islamic banking and investments.