Italy's new conservative government is mulling proposals to stem rampant street prostitution, including "red light" districts, legalising brothels and life in jail for pimps.
Italians have been alarmed recently at the growing number of prostitutes, many of them illegal foreigners from Eastern Europe or Africa, who seek drive-by clients on the streets of most cities, even in daylight.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni made a surprising proposal at the weekend, saying he was in favour of setting up officially sanctioned red light districts.
"This would guarantee health controls and protect citizens," he said in a newspaper interview. But he acknowledged that such a move would be complex in a Catholic country like Italy and would need "ample reflection and agreement".
According to some estimates there are between 70,000 and 100,000 prostitutes in Italy. More than half are foreigners and 65 percent work on the streets. - One News
I actually don't think Maroni is doing that much evil here. Catholics are freaking out along the lines of "[He] should be quite ashamed of himself!" But what Maroni is trying to do is control the epidemic rather than add fuel to the fire. First, prostitution is already legal in Italy -- that is something that won't change for a while. Second, cracking down on prostitution at this time would create even more of an underground scene, much like Prohibition did in the U.S during the 1920s. People need to start looking at these issues with no bias.