Italian gov't approves "safety package" against crime

14:12, November 06, 2010      

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The Italian government approved on Friday a series of extraordinary measures aimed at boosting internal safety and cracking-down on organized crime.

Strongly sponsored by the Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, the "safety package" includes new laws for the expulsion of European Union (EU) immigrants illegally living in Italy (including gypsies) , the possibility of arresting violent football fans caught in the stadiums, tougher sanctions against street prostitution and in favor of urban safety.

More powers are also given to the recently set-up national agency for the seizure of all Mafia-related assets, in a bid to drain resources from Italy's organized crime and powerful clans.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi praised the enhanced security measures stressing that they represented one of the five strategic points on which he planned to re-launch the government's action after an internal rift with his former ally, House Speaker Gianfranco Fini.

Berlusconi hailed the positive results in curbing crime and violence since he came to office in 2008, saying that accidents in sport stadiums had dropped by 50 percent.

Safety has always been a top priority for the government, especially for the Northern League ally party of the Interior Minister Maroni.

"In the last two years simple crimes have dropped by over 12 percent while burglaries in banks by 50 percent,"he argued, adding that the government had a lot to be proud of.



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