Concerns about public order and illegal immigration

  • Rise in prices: In the last year the prices of basic goods, such as food, oil and ener­gy, have increased con­sid­er­ably. This issue has been the cen­tre of press arti­cles and inter­ven­tions by politi­cians.
  • Secu­ri­ty and crime: Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion is get­ting increas­ing­ly wor­ried about the lack of pub­lic order in some areas of Italy. Episodes of vio­lence are giv­en a lot of space in Ital­ian press and TV shows.
  • Immi­gra­tion: This issue is part­ly con­nect­ed to the pre­vi­ous one, because in the last months there has been an increase in ille­gal immi­gra­tion. This had led to some episodes of ten­sion in the so-called “Cen­tri di Pri­ma Accoglien­za” – the tem­po­rary shel­ters in which the ille­gal immi­grants are host­ed until they are repa­tri­at­ed to their coun­try of ori­gin – and some­times to racist reac­tions by the Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion.
  • Reform of inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions and the Ital­ian G8 Pres­i­den­cy: This is an issue of high polit­i­cal salience. The Ital­ian For­eign Min­is­ter, Fran­co Frat­ti­ni, has repeat­ed­ly declared the Ital­ian government’s will to pro­mote and par­tic­i­pate in the reform of the inter­na­tion­al gov­er­nance sys­tem. From the Ital­ian point of view, this is a par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant top­ic, since it will be one of the top pri­or­i­ties of the Ital­ian Pres­i­den­cy of the G8 in 2009.
  • The con­flict in the Mid­dle East: Both the Ital­ian pub­lic opin­ion and the press have shown a par­tic­u­lar inter­est in this top­ic, which has prob­a­bly been one of the most cov­ered by the polit­i­cal debate in the last weeks.