Fears of anti-immigration alliance as Berlusconi lauds France's expulsion policy, by Michael Day, Independent, September 17 2010
Italy's conservative premier Silvio Berlusconi has given his full support to France's controversial decision to forcibly repatriate thousands of Roma people to Eastern Europe.
And in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, he appeared keen to exploit the row by calling for tougher EU-wide limits on immigration.
"On the question of the repatriation of the Roma, I support Nicolas Sarkozy," he said. He rebuked EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, saying she should have "confronted the French government privately" instead of making public comments comparing France's expulsion of Roma with the Nazis' deportation of Jews...
Mr Berlusconi's decision to follow his conservative instincts on immigration issues and strengthen Italo-French relations by backing President Sarkozy will also go down well at home, particularly with the powerful anti-immigration Northern League partner in his coalition government...
In May, Mr Berlusconi was criticised by the Catholic Church and the opposition for saying Italy should not be a multi-ethnic society. He said: "The Left's idea is of a multi-ethnic Italy. That is not our idea, ours is to welcome only those who meet the conditions for political asylum."
Who "fears" this development, exactly?