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Italy's Interior Minister Faces Backlash Over Roma Census Plan

Matteo Salvini said during a TV interview Monday he's asked government officials to carry out the census of Italy's Roma population.
Posted at 9:35 AM, Jun 20, 2018

Italy's interior minister is in hot water after announcing controversial plans to conduct a census of the country's Roma community and deport any non-Italians.

According to several reports, Matteo Salvini said during a TV interview Monday he's asked government officials to carry out the census of Italy's Roma population to "see who, how, how many."

Roma people, also known as Gypsies or Romanies, migrated to Europe centuries ago and have faced discrimination for years. Tens of thousands of Roma currently live in Italy, but many of them aren't Italian citizens.

Critics say Salvini's plan is racist and fascist, and some have compared the move to laws implemented by Benito Mussolini.

Salvini's views on immigration have gotten some backlash, too. He's previously promised to expel hundreds of thousands of migrants living in Italy. And earlier this month, he refused to allow a ship carrying hundreds of migrants into the country.