“Do not rent houses to foreigners”, those sentences are discriminatory
Ruling of the Court of Milan against the sentences published on the website of the City Hall signed by the Councillor Borghi. The recourse has been won by the same lawyers and associations which had won against the “Bonus Bebé” (a bonus of €1,000 for every child) of Tradate.
Those sentences are discriminatory. It is not a simple accusation but instead the ruling of the civil division of the Court of Milan regarding the “famous” sentences used in the article written by the councillor of Gerenzano, Cristiano Borghi, and which were published two years ago on the city newspaper “Filodiretto”, and they can still be seen today on the website of the City Hall, in the article titled “we’ve never closed the doors…but many citizens of Gerenzano have opened them”.
In the ruling, which has been published on 2nd May, after a long judicial procedure and various hearings, it can be clearly read that the discriminatory sentence refers to the invitation of “do not sell or rent houses to non-EU citizens” followed by the sentence “otherwise we will have a country invaded by foreigners and we will be always more worried of going out.”
The recourse was presented by the associations “Farsi Prossimo” and “Avvocati per niente” and it was led by the lawyer Alberto Guariso, the same who in the last months won the lawsuit against the Bonus Bebè of Tradate City Hall, which in that occasion too was judged discriminatory. And now this new lawsuit ,with a long procedure, is advanced against the City Hall (driven by the Northern League) and against the councillor.
Last October, the Court had judged the recourse inadmissible because there were no physical people who had presented it. However, the associations had not stopped and they have presented a new recourse received by the Court in which they explained that “the associations and institutions who execute some activities to fight discrimination, can act in the name, on behalf and in support of a collective discrimination, in case the people damaged by discrimination cannot been found in a direct and immediate way.
On this basis the new ruling has been issued, and cannot be misinterpreted; those sentences “have a discriminatory nature”, therefore the Court “orders to stop every anti-discriminatory behaviour” as well as “the removal of the article from the website”. The legal expenses will be divided between the parts, because no negotiation has been reached.
As motivation, in the eight pages of the ruling it can also be read that “the discriminatory content must be evaluated considering the prejudice, even the potential one which a category of people could suffer in terms of a mere disadvantage or of bigger difficulties in finding goods and services in comparison to other people.” And more” the behaviour of councillor Borghi was certainly the expression of the quality of being a functionary. Therefore it has to do with an expression of opinion made with the aim of putting a strain in the legal part, which is reserved to negotiation autonomy of the citizens, who own real estates in the city of Gerenzano, and of foreigner citizens interested in residing in that area.”
This is a fair ruling, which does not create doubts. It will be the faculty of the City Hall and of the councillor Borghi to choose if presenting a recourse or not. For the time being, those sentences are considered discriminatory and, according to the Court, they must be removed from the website of the City Hall within 10 days. The councillor Borghi, contacted on the phone, preferred not to comment.