Italian town plans separate bus for Roma

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The bus segregation plan was discussed at the town hall on Thursday. Photo: F Ceragioli/Wikimedia Commons
17:23 CEST+02:00
A mayor in north-west Italy has backed a controversial plan to create a bus route only for Roma people, a move which has been likened to the segregation policies of Apartheid South Africa, Italian media reported on Friday.

The proposal to separate members of the Roma community from other Borgaro residents won the mayor Claudio Gambino's support at a town hall meeting on Thursday, La Stampa reported.

Under the plans, a new bus will be put on to parallel the 69 route and end at a Roma camp, in the town north of Turin.

The idea came after reports of passengers being robbed and abused on the bus line.

“This way we will resolve the problem without anyone losing out,” Gambino was quoted as saying.

“Two lines, one for us and one for them...I will talk to the police commissioner about it, it seems to be the only solution.”

Luigi Spinelli, Borgaro’s transport councillor, described it as "the best solution for everyone".

But the move bears a stark resemblance to Apartheid policies carried out in South Africa, when black and white people were separated on public transport, Rai News noted.

Despite this, the measure won overwhelming support in an online poll by La Stampa, with just 15 percent of voters disagreeing with the policy.

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Eighty-three percent of Italians protect their wallet if they see a Roma person on the bus, according to figures compiled by Avvenire, a Catholic newspaper.

READ MORE: Italy's 'bullet' campaign targets prejudice

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