In a letter to Italian Deputy PM Matteo Salvini, Popular Movement Party (PMP) President Eugen Tomac says that the changes to the Italian Traffic Code are “profoundly discriminatory and restrict the free movement of European citizens.” The PMP leader calls on the Italian Interior Minister to find a solution.
“You showed up before your own voters with the slogan ‘Italians first,’ conveying the message of persecuting in Italy the citizens of other European Union states; your policy is profoundly wrong and has nothing to do with the century we are living in. The modifications you have recently brought to the Italian Traffic Code, which ban persons who have been residing for more than 60 days in Italy from driving a vehicle registered abroad, are profoundly discriminatory and restrict the free movement of European citizens, a fundamental principle written down in Article 45 of the European Union Treaty,” Eugen Tomac wrote in the letter addressed to Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, according to the PMP leader’s Facebook posting.
He added that 1.2 million Romanians are living in Italy, contributing to the Italian economy, and they should not be unfairly hounded.
“More than 1.2 million Romanian citizens are permanently or temporarily living in Italy, Romanians who have contributed to the Italian economy in recent years and who have integrated without problems in the communities that they serve. Our peoples have a unique connection built in thousands of years, and our states have a special strategic cooperation, this being a reason why we must treat our citizens with care instead of unfairly hounding them.
“The Romanian citizens who live in Italy must be protected, not sanctioned in a difficult to understand manner. According to the new provisions of the Italian Traffic Code, if you have a car with Romanian number plates and Italian driver’s licence, the police will take away your number plates, fine you a minimum of 712 euro on the spot, and if you don’t register the car or leave Italy within 180 days the car will be confiscated by the Italian State. The law must be observed, but we don’t want an internal measure affecting innocent citizens who observe the law, for whom Italy is their second home,” Tomac explained.
The PMP President also says that no EU citizen must feel unfairly sanctioned. He calls on Salvini to urgently find a solution so as not to remain in history as an “author of disintegration.”
“It’s important that no European Union citizen feel unfairly sanctioned. The institution of prevention should exist for any violation pertaining to internal traffic safety. Several days ago, you stated that you believe in Europe, that the European Union was a fantastic dream that is on the verge of being destroyed. If you don’t want to remain in history as author of the disintegration, of the destruction of this dream, I ask you to urgently find a solution to stop this persecution of Romanian citizens living in Italy. I am asking you, the Deputy Prime Minister and Internal Affairs Minister, to find the most urgent solutions so that Romanian citizens feel safe and non-discriminated against by the enforcement of the new traffic safety regulations,” Eugen Tomac concluded.
The PMP leader’s reaction comes against the backdrop in which the Italian Traffic Code has been modified, banning people who have resided in Italy for more than sixty days from driving vehicles registered abroad. The Italian press has covered cases in which drivers whose cars have Romanian number plates were pulled over and fined.
In his turn, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) has informed that the Romanian embassy in Rome is acting to head off potential discriminations against Romanians as a result of the modification of the Italian Traffic Code, offering consular assistance to citizens who notice abusive measures on the part of local authorities in enforcing the new law in Italy.