What is behind the arrest of Italy’s pro-immigration mayor?
The Mayor of the small southern Italian village of Riace, Domenico Lucano, will face trial for encouraging illegal immigration. Lucano was praised for using immigration as a positive force saving the dwindling economy and population of Riace be encouraging migrant and refugee families to settle in the region. He is being charged with arranging a marriage between an Italian man and a Nigerian woman amongst other allegations. Is the arrest of Domenico Lucano justified and what is behind the allegations of encouraging illegal immigration?
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The cases against Domenico Lucano remain trumped up charges as an attack on the Mayor’s policies rather than anything based in reality. This is all part of far-right populist Matteo Salvini’s push against immigration and refugees in Italy, he is riding the wave of a re-emergence of far-right and neo-fascist groups in the country and humanitarian politicians such as Lucano remain a high profile easy target. Salvini has even mocked Lucano’s arrest, calling Lucano “a zero” , despite this evidence remains scant and this case seems more a sign of the times and government than an infringement of Italian law.