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nedelja, 28 novembra, 2021

Unrest continues in Milan

By V4 Agency

In the suburbs of Milan, local residents are exposed to the attacks of illegal migrants and violent crime is on the rise. The city’s vacant buildings are occupied by squatters, while rival gangs fight for the illegal markets.

The most recent violent incident took place on Saturday, in an abandoned building near the main road of Viale Molise. Three people were injured and taken to hospital after 33 members of two rival gangs had clashed in a turf war, to decide the ownership of the territory.

Acts of violence are by no means unprecedented in these neighbourhoods. Last week saw the arrest of several illegal migrants who had beaten and killed homeless people, and police also apprehended a number of thugs engaged in drug trafficking. An elderly woman also fell victim to the surging violence. She was robbed and beaten to death by a 23-year-old migrant who spotted her withdrawing money from an ATM.

Local residents and citizens feel that they are being abandoned by the government, and that they are increasingly exposed to threats posed by migrant gangs.

“Three people suffered stab injuries and the whole neighbourhood is worried about the escalation of violence which began on Viale Molise in recent months. When the municipality of Milan took action against migrant squatters occupying a number of buildings after they were evicted from their former residence for not paying the bills, it was too little too late. Authorities must make sure that no unauthorised individuals can enter or occupy the city’s vacant buildings and they should install permanent surveillance in the area,” Lega MEP Silvia Sardone said, reflecting on the deteriorating situation in this part of Milan, which bears an eery resemblance to the plight of other suburbs in the outskirts.

Viale Molise and the surrounding area is also known for a social hub named Macao, established in 2012 and housed in a roadside building owned by the city. The centre offers help to immigrants and vulnerable social groups, distributing food and clothes. To be near, migrants have settled in the surrounding streets, but the distribution of aid often leads to conflicts. When supplies run out, those who end up empty-handed often clash with others.

This week supporters of the Lega party gathered in front of the social centre to protest and demand the eviction of the organisation that causes mounting problems.

Silvia Sardone, however, also pointed out that the left-wing city council did not find the handover of the centre to be enough, “now they also want to hand over the properties and assets that were destroyed by these criminals.” By that she meant the ruined and dilapidated buildings, with most of them vacant or already occupied by homeless migrants.

Centre-right representatives have repeatedly called on the mayor and councillors of Milan to have the numerous volunteers’ associations provide assistance to the migrants in the area, and instruct law enforcement to prevent them from occupying public and private spaces and buildings.

“Obviously, [the migrants] expected to walk along a red carpet and occupy our buildings with impunity, with keys in their hands,” said one representative, ironically.

The employees of the social centre “welcomed” the demonstrators demanding the closure of the centre by shouting words such as “murderers, buffoons!”

“It is absurd that one hundred people gather in Milan to defend illegality. And it is equally crazy that a gem, such as this Art Nouveau building, has been in the hands of criminals for eight years, when it could be used by the citizens in the neighbourhood. We ask law and order to be restored in the area, which must be cleared of murderers and gangs”, a representative said. Silvia Sardone recalled that the mayor had said multiple times that organisations like the Macao centre had social and cultural roles.

“I wonder what this socio-cultural role is. Drug trafficking and lawlessness, or violence and gang wars?” Ms Sardone asked.

Residents of Viale Molise and the surrounding streets are afraid. The MEP of the Lega party says it’s time authorities intervened.

“The destruction of our city is unacceptable and can no longer be tolerated. Evictions are useless, the problem will not go away. We are leaving several buildings in a dilapidated state, occupied by evicted people, and we are receiving too many migrants in Milan without providing them some concept of a future,” she said.

Silvia Sardone blames the municipal leadership for the situation.”The political responsibility of the left is more clear now than on other occasions. We regularly report the violations, just like all other fatigued and desperate citizens, but we do not see any meaningful response from the municipality and law enforcement,” she added.

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