The Italian Almanac

world cup alarm

Italian News / Europe - June 9

The Vatican expressed alarm on Thursday over reports that thousands of women may be forced to go to Germany and work as prostitutes during the soccer World Cup which starts on Friday.

Monsignor Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants, said it was already bad enough that prostitution was legal in Germany. What was worse, he said, was that a predicted 40,000 extra women would now enter the circuit. "Many of them are forced into this activity against their will. They are the object of trafficking," he said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

With about a million people expected to flood into Germany from June 9, there are widespread expectations that the country's sex industry will experience a boom. Several human rights groups have predicted a demand for extra prostitutes who would probably come from countries in Eastern Europe.

"Some red cards should be handed out to this industry, to its clients and to the public authorities which host the event," Msgr Marchetto said. "Prostitution violates the dignity of human beings, reducing them to objects and instruments of sexual pleasure. Women become merchandise to be bought, at a cost which is even less than that of a ticket for a soccer match."

The United States recently wrote to the German government about the same issue and raised its fears in meetings with officials in Germany.