Culture Clash, Italian Style
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Italy is experiencing a socio-disagreement between its own folks and invading illegal aliens by the thousands who want to remake the place in their own image. For once, it's not Muslims.

But the Chinese newbies, a third of whom are believed to be illegal, are similarly demanding. They have brought sweatshop conditions to the Italian clothing industry and want business done their way. There is even a new category of clothing: "Made in Italy by Chinese."

Chinese migrants have been pouring into Prato to work in the city's thousands of factories, warehouses and sweatshops that supply the cloth and yarns to the Italian fashion industry.

Today Prato has the largest Chinese community in the country - about 25,000 people, nearly 15% of the city's population.

And the authorities are worried.

"Many of the Chinese here are 'clandestini' - illegal. We have big difficulties catching them. And since they arrived, crime in the city has risen," says Francesco Nannucci, the head of investigations at the Prato police. [Italy struggles with Chinese migrants, BBC 8/2/07]

In Milan's Chinatown, the Chinese staged a violent protest in the streets against the government last April in which 10 police officers were injured.

The trouble began when a Chinese woman was fined for illegally transporting goods in a private vehicle.

More than 100 Chinese shopkeepers and members of their families, many waving the national flag, massed in the street claiming racial discrimination. [Milan police in Chinatown clash BBC 4/13/07]

Does this sound familiar? Foreigners enter illegally in droves, break the law in additional ways and then squawk "racism" when they are called to task. And the "national flag" being waved was that of Red China, in case there was any doubt.

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