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For Italians, migration and economy top issues
For Italians, migration and economy top issues

BRUSSELS (AP), May 26 (TIWN) — The Latest on elections for the European Parliament (all times local): 12:30 p.m.

In Castelbuono, a Medieval mountain town in Sicily's province of Palermo, a steady but sluggish stream of voters is showing up to cast ballots.

Many of the town's residents are backing the 5-Star Movement, a populist party now in a coalition government with the anti-migrant League party.

One of these is Vincenzo Messineo, a 32-year-old laborer who's concerned about youth unemployment and the influx of migrants.

"We don't want them all here," he said. "Europe is united so why can't they be divided among other countries too?"

For Anna Maria Ippolito, a 62-year-old 5-Star Movement supporter, financial inequality is a top concern.

"Six percent of the Italian population has all the wealth," she said. "It's not at all right. Paying the taxes that we do now just lets the rich get richer and the poor poorer."

On Europe, she thinks it's time to rein in the big guns. "Up to now, it's all been about Germany and France," she said. "They're the ones dragging us into this European disaster."

Migrants are on the mind of Silvia Bonomo, too, but she feels Europe needs to "open itself up" and do more to welcome people fleeing war and hardships. The 62-year-old middle-school teacher voted for the center-left Democratic Party.

"They wouldn't be coming if they didn't have a reason to," she said. "Migrants are seen as stealing jobs, which they are not. They're seen as criminals, which they are not. They are just like us."

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