Refugees face death threats at Italian hotel

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The 72 refugees are staying at a hotel in Sondrio. Photo: Pontla
16:45 CEST+02:00
Italian police are investigating claims that dozens of immigrants have received death threats in a xenophobic letter sent to the hotel which is hosting them in Lombardy's Valtellina valley.

Giulio Salvi, owner of the Hotel Bellevue in the scenic town of Sondrio, north of Bergamo, told police the threats were made against the 72 refugees in an anonymous letter he received.

"The letter contained death threats directed against the migrants," Salvi was cited as saying in a report by Ansa.

He went to the local police, who have begun an investigation into what they believe is a race-related crime.

“See that you send away all those blacks,” said the letter, which also used profane language. “There should only be human beings at your hotel, not filth.

“If you do not do that, I will set about killing them one by one. Understood?”

After approaching the police, the owner of the three-star hotel urged his guests to exercise prudence when travelling around the local area and to avoid any kind of provocation.

Salvi, who has been hosting refugees since May 2011, organizes language courses, football matches and volunteer activities while they wait for their immigration status to be resolved.

Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-immigrant Northern League, gave a media conference in nearby Bormio on Thursday denouncing those who had “to wait for landings at Lampedusa” in order to fill their hotel rooms.

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“If you need immigrants to fill your hotel it means that you have taken the wrong job,” he said.

Refugee care may cost the government up to €800 million per year, as it offers private individuals, companies and non-profit organizations up to €35 a day per person to host them. 

From that figure, hosts are supposed to give them a daily pocket money allowance of €2.50 each.

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