Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said comments made about hate speech against Roma by European Commissioner Věra Jourová were “nonsense.”
“Why doesn’t the lady come and visit a Roma camp in Rome or Milan and see the weapons, the illegality, the exploited children and the stolen goods?” Salvini said in Rome, adding that “then she might wake up and change her mind.”
Salvini, leader of the far-right League party, said he considers her remarks to be “nonsense again from Brussels,” ANSAreported. “I want rules and order.”
Jourová, the commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality, said in Brussels on Friday she has “concern” that some people in Italy are “playing with fire” in terms of hate speech against Roma.
“In the past we have seen these categorizations of some parts of society,” Jourová said.
“In some Nazi documents they wrote that they were mouths that it was pointless feeding. These are strange days that recall a dark past. If we don’t remember the lesson, this could happen again,” she said. “This is why it is necessary to combat hate speech with deeds and warnings and dialogue”.
Earlier this year, Salvini sparked outrage by announcing Italy planned to kick out Roma from abroad, but “unfortunately we will have to keep the Italian Roma because we can’t expel them.”