Friday, December 01, 2006

JET-SKIING TOWARDS FORTRESS EUROPE

I've written before about the desperate measures taken by clandestini [illegal would-be immigrants] in their efforts to reach Europe and hope of a better life. Many of these voyages end in tragedy or, if the travellers are "luckier", in the reception centres at Lampedusa and Trapani.

In the early hours of yesterday two men were rescued off Pantelleria [a volcanic island famous for its capers preserved in salt, among other things] and it seems they had been trying to jet-ski from Tunisia to the coasts of Sicily. They were wearing diving suits and did have a mobile phone to call for help when their vessel ran into trouble in the rough sea. They seem to be in reasonable shape medically after their ordeal. Again, one cannot begin to imagine what sort of life they were hoping to leave behind and can only wonder at the risk they were prepared to take.

6 comments:

Steve said...

Amazing. Spain has an enclave in northern Africa that is continually being assaulted by folks trying to get over the fence. Can't blame them, but I don't think the EU owes them a free pass. For every emigrant that makes his way into the EU and is allowed to stay, the poor tax payers have to supprot them. That's you and my wife.

Steve said...

Amazing. Spain has an enclave in northern Africa that is continually being assaulted by folks trying to get over the fence. Can't blame them, but I don't think the EU owes them a free pass. For every emigrant that makes his way into the EU and is allowed to stay, the poor tax payers have to supprot them. That's you and my wife.

james higham said...

I think they should be given a free place for the way in which they approached it - the entrepeneurial spirit is certainly to be encouraged.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

This is a very difficult one. I have taught asylum seekers in Britain and some of them had heartbreaking stories to tell. Yet no country can give a place to everyone who wants to come. The two men in this case were daring indeed, and one of them spoke perfect Italian, according to a report I read yesterday. It does seem, then, that he could contribute something to the society. But I have seen the problematic side too.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Stories like this are awfully sad.

I know the immigrants are escaping awful lives, but allowing them to slip in is not fair to those legal immigrants who went to great lengths to do it properly.

Liz said...

I always feel so fortunate to have been born in this country. Many of the asylum seekers do have horrific stories, and while I accept that no country can take in refugees ad infinitum, it would seem to me that reviewing their cases in a sympathetic light, looking for reasons for them to stay, would be more appropriate in a civilised country.

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