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Interior minister to press for punishment of EU nationals residing illegally

In his appearance in the chamber of deputies [the lower house of parliament] on 22 September 2010, Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, spoke of the issue of "nomadic" communities and of plans to expand the detention centre regime.

He illustrated plans to increase the number of centri di identificazione ed espulsione (CIE , identification and expulsion centres) by setting up new ones in Veneto, Tuscany, the Marches and Campania. There are currently 13 CIEs distributed in 11 regions, with an overall capacity of 1,811 places.

As regards "nomads", he recalled the census of "nomad" camps that began in 2008. He argued that the plan is unrelated to ethnicity (although it is Roma and Sinti communities that are generally referred as "nomads" by the Italian authorities), explaining that 361 illegal camps have been identified in which 16,355 people were living, against 2,657 of whom removal measures have been adopted because they did not comply with requirements to live in Italy.

Maroni also explained that dialogue is underway with the European Union to fill the legislative "gap" which is the subject of a dispute with the Commission, due to the lack of sanctions against EU citizens who do not respect the period (90 days) for which they are allowed to stay in other EU countries. "States must be given the instruments to sanction people who contravene the Directive's provisions", he stated, noting that the initiative enjoys support from the French.

"Circolazione dei cittadini comunitari nella Ue, mancano le sanzioni. Già avviati i contatti con l'Europa", Interior ministry newsletter, 22.9.2010

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