Actor George Clooney’s Italian neighbors are not thrilled with the makeshift camp of illegal Muslim immigrants that has cropped up near his fashionable multi-million dollar Lake Como vacation getaway.
The area that was once little more than a gateway to Switzerland is now overrun with Muslim migrants who have nowhere to go since the neighboring country shut down its borders to illegal immigrant traffic from Italy.
With more than 1,000 migrants reportedly arriving in the past few weeks, The Daily Mail talked to Italians about the influx.
“Immigration is a big problem,” said financial consultant Emilio. “I don’t want lots of immigrants coming to Como. This will affect our jobs, our resources, and the character of our town.”
Simona, a shop worker, said the migrants are going to “ruin” the regions allure to visitors.
“‘We don’t need any more immigrants here. They are already all over the town,” she said. “I really hope the situation will not get any worse. Already they sleep in the park. We don’t want people all over the streets.”
‘This will only ruin the tourist trade,” she added. “No one will want to come here.”
Restaurant owner Maria Grazia concurred.
“I don’t want them here,” she said “Italy has enough problems without trying to solve the problems of the world. We [Italy] should not have to deal with these people on our own.”
Grazia also noted that Italy gets no financial assistance in dealing with the immigrants.
“Europe [the EU] does nothing to help us,” she said. “Now they make us – me, my family and other Italian families – pay for them.”
And in the end, it is the sheer numbers that present the problem.
“A small number of immigrants is not a problem but now they are so many,” housewife Federica told the Mail. “You see them arriving at that the San Giovanni station.”
The Italian housewife also noted the physical appearance of the migrants.
“They are not poor hungry refugees but they are big and strong,” she added. “People here in Como don’t like them. There are simply too many of them.”
Tour guide Denise also commented on the numbers, saying immigration “is a big problem because of the huge numbers who are arriving all the time.”
Chauffeur Santi doesn’t blame Switzerland for closing its border.
“It is good for Switzerland that they have closed the border to migrants but it is bad for Italy,” he said. “We simply don’t have the resources to deal with all these new people.”
“Italy has lots of problems of our own without having to try to deal with other people’s problems,” Santi added. “It is a complex situation.”
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