12 May 2008 Bucharest _ Romania’s Prime Minister has asked his Interior Minister to hold talks with Italian officials amid claims that Rome should reintroduce visas for Romanians.
“Over the next few days, Roberto Maroni, the Italian Interior Minister, will present to the Rome Government, a project which would limit the access of Gypsies, most of them coming from Romania, to Italy,” Rome media wrote.
Romania’s Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu swiftly asked Internal Affairs Minister, Cristian David, to travel to Italy this week for talks.
Tariceanu also said the Romanian Government would send more policemen and prosecutors to Italy to help prevent crime.
He argued the claims by Italian officials were politically-motivated and generated a wrong perception about the Romanians.
“I think that having a xenophobic attitude towards some people can affect the relationship between two states,” Tariceanu said.
He added that both the Romanian and the Italian Governments should handle this problem in a diplomatic way.
Tariceanu also noticed that Italian authorities should not have permitted immigrants camps around the big cities, in the first place.
The issue was first raised last year, when a Romanian, Romulus Mailat, was arrested for raping and killing an Italian woman.
About a million Romanians live and work in Italy.