A railway employee in Milan took to the public address system on a train to admonish gypsy criminals, using insulting language to order them off the train. A predictable politically correct firestorm arose, making it likely that the insulter of gypsies would be fired. However, as an indication of how much the political winds have shifted in Italy, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini spoke out in defense of the employee.
Trenord: The loudspeaker announcement of the train: “Gypsies, you have broken the (balls)…”
Speaker identified, Salvini defends her
The words were pronounced on the train that covers the route from Milan to Mantua. The person who reported it is a researcher, 32 years old, from Cremona, who works in the Milanese capital. “This was unacceptable language.” The company: “Unspeakable and serious.” The conductor risks being fired. The minister defends her. “Instead of worrying about aggressions against passengers, they worry about messages (sent) to the molesters.”
“Passengers are asked not to give money to molesters.” And not even to the gypsies. “Get off at the next stop because you have broken balls.” It was the announcement made by loudspeaker on the Trenord regional train, which on Tuesday was traveling from Milan to Cremona and Mantua. All of the passengers heard it. Reporting it, however, was a 32-year-old researcher from Cremona who works in Milan. “I was returning home,” she says. “I heard those words, so serious, so I looked immediately at my watch.” The voice was feminine. The traveler also wonders if “both the use of the word ‘gypsies’ and the subsequent ‘you have broken…’ do not clearly constitute discriminatory language.
“It cannot be accepted on the part of a public official in the exercise of their function and in the context of a public service financed with the taxes of the (taxpayers). I therefore demand that Trenord disassociate itself and publicly apologize for the incident.”
Taking the side of the employee, who risks losing her job, however, is the interior minister. “Instead of worrying about the aggressions against the passengers, controllers and conductors, someone is worried about messages against the molesters. To travel safely is a priority,” wrote Matteo Salvini on Twitter.
Once they had arrived at the station, some commuters sent a complaint to Trenord with a detailed explanation about what occurred. Trenord, at first, put out a more prudent statement. “The device from which these announcements are put out is not in the cabin. It is also accessible to passengers who through tampering could use it.” Then, after some checks excluding tampering, the company thanked “the passenger for the prompt report,” defining the occurrence as “serious and unspeakable”. The company, which operates trains in Lombardy, has begun an internal investigation and has identified the employee who spoke those words. Measures are being evaluated. The punishment could go as far as firing.
A colleague, who contacted Ilfatto.it and prefers to remain anonymous, while not justifying the woman’s announcement, says that one must understand it: it refers to numerous episodes that every day degenerate and whose protagonists are groups of immigrants who try to travel without tickets. Still, in this case, as stated, it concerned Roma (gypsies), who for the most part are Italian citizens. At any rate, in these cases, the conductors, continued the Trenord employee, politely ask them to get up and get off at the next stop and receive in response insults, where the word “racist” is thrown out not without effect.