A.S.: This week there has been such talk in the Socialist group to see what attitude and measures need to be taken to stop the violence and racist attitude lately in Italy. It is very worrying, since the politicians from all regions have chosen an approach meeting neither European standards or rules, in my opinion. I would say even more: such approaches aren't even in keeping with the Italian Constitution. But we wanted the debate not to take place in an atmosphere dominated by a confrontation with Italy. Italy is Romania's strategic partner and I hope the collaboration and solidarity terms will continue as such.
Together with the head of the Italian delegation in the Socialist group in the Parliament of Europe we reached a common declaration, showing mainly that any discrimination against European citizens on ethnic or national criteria is unacceptable and any idea of collective guilt must fade away. The principle of people's free circulation in the EU must be respected. Security measures must be taken, but they must meet EU norms and standards, laws and human rights. One last idea is that the Roma issue is a European problem, but not only a Romanian one. Therefore it needs to be handled with EU means instead of getting transferred to one single member state to handle. (...)
Rep.: What is your opinion on the Romanian government's lack of official view on it?
A.S.: I want to hope there is a view, but not released yet. It seems to me that there prevails a harmful ambiguity because of failing to reach a very clear consensus with the Italian partners. But I am telling you again that I am not pleading for aggressive attitude.
We must safeguard our relations with Italy and disallow this problem to undermine Romanian-Italian relations. Still I think there is need of more professionalism and morality in the search for a solution to a problem that is sure to need a conclusion in keeping with EU standards.
One thing must be clear: Romania can't turn into a Siberia of the EU where undesirable citizens are deported. It must neither become a ghetto for the Roma community. On the contrary, it must be an equal partner to find solutions to legitimate security problems together with the other partners.
Rep.: Do you think the Parliament in Rome will take into account the view of the Parliament of Europe?
A.S.: I am convinced that some politicians who have played with fire (because of the domestic political disputes rather than the Italian's precarious security) and who have tried to promote xenophobe solutions to settle real difficulties are now coming to senses. (...)