Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Italian immigration horrors

In the twelve years since I left Italy in late 1996, the greatest change has undoubtedly been massive immigration. It had already started in the 80's and was building up in the early 90's, but now it has become a flood and a major source of controversy and social conflict in the country.

Today's La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera both report on a highly disturbing living situation (so to speak) for Chinese in downtown Milan in Via Mac Mahon. Dozens of Chinese (illegal and legal) were found to reside in an underground area accessed by a manhole. "Rooms" (there were spaces for sixty) were each about the size of a double bed and rented at 100 euros a month for individuals and two hundred for families. There were no windows or ventilation (excluding the manholes), one filthy kitchen and two bathrooms. Two bathrooms for sixty people. There was even a newborn.

The Corriere's article with photos can be found here.