The new Italian populist coalition government will crack down on illegal street vendors, many of whom are migrants, with high fines for both the vendor and the buyer of illegal goods.
Italian tourist destinations are normally full of vendors, mainly migrants, selling various wares from cheap souvenirs to knock-off handbags, but that could soon change.
Tourists who buy from unauthorised street vendors could be fined as much as €7,000 under the new rules as the Italians look to combat the black market trade which is alleged to make upwards of €22 billion per year and deprives Italian lawmakers of €11 billion in tax revenues, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The vendors themselves could face even stiffer penalties from between €2,500 and a significant €15,000, depending on what kind of goods they are attempting to sell.
The new rules come after an incident of violence involving Senegalese migrant street vendors earlier this month that was caught on film and went viral in Italy. Migrants attacked two police officers who attempted to confiscate 160 fake designer bags and other goods from the street sellers.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the populist La Lega, commented on the video saying: “Expulsions for illegal immigrants and restoring a climate of legality to our cities is my goal.”
Along with migrant street vendors, Italy has seen a rise in both migrant prostitutes and drug dealers, many from Nigeria. Earlier this year, it was reported that the resort town of Castel Volturno north of Naples had been taken over by migrant gangs.
Journalists attempting to investigate the rampant criminality and violence in the town have also needed to hire security due to the danger.