19:34 GMT +315 November 2018
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    Alarm Raised Over Drug Trafficking Suspected at Ethnic Shops in Italy

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    It is not about racism or anti-migrant sentiment; if you hang around, you would understand why Salvini is right, a resident of Italian city of Perugia said about an ethnic shop in his local area.

    Residents of Perugia have called on authorities to shut down "ethnic clubs" in their neighborhood due to concerns of spreading violence, drugs and prostitution.

    A number of so-called ethnic clubs have sprung in Perugia's area of Fontivegge, which according to some locals, have attracted certain activities to the Italian neighborhood.

    A resident Giulietto Albioni has been reported to say that with the arrival of non-EU citizens in this area, African markets, afropubs, and other clubs were born.

    "Behind them is always the traffic of drugs," Mr. Albioni said. 

    An Italian daily newspaper Il Giornale investigated an Afropub, revealing the surrounding area was full of syringes and broken glass. According to the paper, it only took several minutes for their investigators to get offered drugs by a male migrant after they went to the pub in the evening.

    Earlier in October, Italy's Deputy PM and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini proposed that "little ethnic shops" close by 9pm, arguing that they were often "a meeting place for drug deals and people who raise hell.

    Salvini suggested that the initiative was not aimed against foreigners but instead was a measure to curb the abuses by certain shops. His proposal was challenged by Mauro Bussoni, the general secretary of Confesercenti, a retail association, who argued that laws can't "discriminate some entrepreneurs over others."

    Another resident of Fontivegge said that the locals' call to shut down the ethnic shops had nothing to do with racism

    "Go and see what they do next to the ethnic clubs, come back here in the evening, especially on Sundays, and you will understand why Salvini is right," the resident said.

    The mayor of Perugia Andrea Romizi revoked the Afropub's license several days after the investigation.

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