Rome Italy began deporting Romanians with criminal records in response to a streak of violent crime blamed on immigrants, authorities said Saturday. A knife-wielding mob attacked a group of Romanians in Rome.
Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu warned of rising xenophobia in Italy. Earlier this week, he backed the crackdown and came under criticism at home for apologizing for violence blamed on Romanian immigrants.
Up to 10 people wearing motorcycle helmets attacked a group of Romanians with knives, metal bars and sticks Friday night in the parking lot of a Rome supermarket, police said. Three Romanians were injured, one with serious head wounds. Police said they were looking for the attackers.
Authorities in Milan said that four Romanians with criminal records were put on a flight to Bucharest on Friday night, and that deportations for 12 other Romanians had been authorized.