How Italy’s migrant model town Riace veered far-right

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The colourful welcoming signs for refugees are still up, but the town of Riace has swung far-right, against the migrant experiment it once championed.

Riace (Italy) (AFP) – The sign reading “Riace, land of welcome” still hangs in the small town, but its dream of migrant integration is over after the far-right’s “Italians first” election victory.

The new mayor of the one-time “global village” in southern Italy’s rural Calabria elected on May 26 with the support of Matteo Salvini’s anti-migrant Lega party, Antonio Trifoli, has so far left the sign up.

“We will welcome refugees again,” he told AFP.

“But we can’t have 500 to 600 asylum seekers in a town with 1,500 residents,” said the former town policeman.