By Yassin Ziani
By Yassin Ziani
Rabat – In the last few years, Europe has been facing a new reality. An average of 80 migrants a day reach the Italian coastline, with many more unsuccessfully making the attempt. Many times migrants are rescued by the Italian navy and European ships in the Mediterranean. Throughout 2014, 220,000 people have attempted to cross the sea for a better life and more opportunities, but 3,500 of them have perished en route or been turned away.
The majority of these immigrants are Syrians escaping from a war that has lasted for four years. Others are from Eritrea, Congo, and Nigeria, locations where there is political instability.
However, the majority of migrants wish to use Italy as a bridge to reach Scandinavian countries, Germany, France, or the United Kingdom. There is a European law, Dublin 3, which states illegal immigrants have to stay in the country where they have been first identified. However, it is well known that Italy can not afford to welcome them all, therefore Italian authorities allow them to trespass into the borders of the countries of their preferred destinations.
The French border police have enacted tighter controls on the border with Italy in Ventimiglia and have sent scores of illegal immigrants back to their home countries. On June 13, refugees camped on the border in Ventimiglia for three nights until they were evacuated by force by the Italian police.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said, “Immigration is a complex question that needs to be managed with the solidity of a country like ours. We can not allow France having boats in the Mediterranean and leaving migrants in Italy. There is no space for national ego.”
French Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, said, “Migrants do not have the right to trespass the border; Italy needs to take charge of them.”
On the other hand, the economic recession is over and Italy is not yet ready for a multicultural society. Xenophobic parties, such as League Nord, have come forward and increased their voting base. The leader of the party, Matteo Salvini, has been conducting political propaganda manipulating Italian people that are facing unemployment or struggling in their daily life. One of his slogans is: “Italy to Italians,” which has been used under the fascist regime. He also uses the term “scraper,” meaning to blow down all Romani camps. Salvini relies on short and direct sentences to gain the consent of the crowds, who tend to see the refugees as a black mass rather than as individuals with hopes and dreams for a better life similar to everyone’s ancestors.
Salvini has been active in politics for ten years, but he has never proposed a concrete plan to control illegal immigration. Rather, he has created division and blamed immigrants for deeply-rooted problems in Italy, stating that the “invasion” needs to be stopped. Still, he continues to receive 5,000 Euros per month from the Italian taxpayers and various other outlets.
It is a historical moment for Europe as society is changing. Currently, one of the main topics in Europe is regarding the distribution of the refugees and asylum seekers around the continent. One EU country, Hungary, has announced that it is about to build a wall four meters high within the border of Serbia to stop immigrants that attempt to enter the country. This choice hasn’t been popular among many politicians; they have found it similar to the Berlin Wall. Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs stated in an Austrian newspaper that Hungary is officially backing away from Dublin 3. This means that Hungary will not accept refugees anymore.
The English Prime Minister, David Cameron, said that England will not accept the distribution of the immigrants, but will instead give resources to the Italian Intelligence, aiming to collaborate in the Lybian territory to stop illegal departures.
In 2010, the ex-Lybian leader, Muammar Gheddafi, clearly said that if Lybia loses its stability, millions of Africans will go to Europe.
The only sure thing is that illegal immigration will continue until the Lybian territory, which is now stateless, is stable.
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