[Ed. – Go figure. Apparently the mayor was arrested a few months ago for facilitating illegal immigration — allegedly for money — while original residents were starting to just move out.]
The sign reading “Riace, land of welcome” still hangs in the small town, but its dream of migrant integration is over after the far-right’s “Italians first” election victory.
The new mayor of the one-time “global village” in southern Italy’s rural Calabria elected on May 26 with the support of Matteo Salvini’s anti-migrant Lega party, Antonio Trifoli, has so far left the sign up.
“We will welcome refugees again,” he told AFP.
“But we can’t have 500 to 600 asylum seekers in a town with 1,500 residents,” said the former town policeman.
Trifoli was first on the independent “Riace reborn” list, backed by the Lega, whose supporters provided many of the 41.8 percent of the 1,103 votes he won.