Italy does not want to become a "multi-ethnic" country and will continue its newly adopted policy of sending boatloads of immigrants and asylum seekers back to North Africa, the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said.
The prime minister's vision of Italy was condemned by the centre-Left opposition. "Yes, Mr Premier, we have a different idea of Italy: multi-ethnic, pluralistic, free," said Giovanna Melandri, of the Democratic Party.
"A country in which the colour of your skin, or race or religion doesn't matter, but, rather, honesty and sincerity of heart do." Since launching a tough new policy on boat people last week, Italy has turned back six boats carrying a total of 1,500 immigrants and asylum seekers which were trying to reach the country's southernmost outpost, the island of Lampedusa.
It will be interesting to see if Berlusconi stands his ground or if he is just paying lip service to the people of Italy who wish to see their nation survive.
Naturally the left is jumping up and down because a "diverse" Italy (one which is divided and polluted with crime, corruption, rape, murder and general chaos) is the only kind of Italy that justifies their oppressive 1984ish totalitarian programs.