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Berlusconi’s Will To Fight

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come under ferocious attack for his alleged relationships with several women, including a teenage girl.  These stories are surfacing exactly when one aspect of his policy—the fight against illegal immigration, which was part of the government program endorsed by the majority of voters in the last general election—is starting to gain ground.

“We were of the opinion that it should be absolutely important to counteract the wide-open-doors policy towards illegal immigrants adopted by the previous government,” Berlusconi said (via telephone) to a political rally in Vicenza, La Stampa reported (May 30).  “It’s not possible for us to let undocumented people in, those who have neither jobs nor prospects, because this would mean to fuel despair and crime, and foster an unacceptable human trafficking.”  Italy is not a racist country, he continued, “but unless we control this phenomenon, sooner or later we’ll have a conflict-laden internal situation that cannot but explode.”  Berlusconi reiterated that “utmost firmness against illegal immigrants means siding with the weakest, be they our compatriots or foreigners living here.”  Moreover, “we welcome those who are prepared to integrate,” provided they are also prepared “to make our rights and duties their own, whereas we must be absolutely...

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