Sunday, July 27, 2008

POLITICS AND TRAGEDY

The State of Emergency regarding illegal immigration previously applying only to Sicily, Puglia and Calabria was extended to the whole of Italy on Friday. In addition, some very tough measures were introduced by the Italian Parliament last week, among them jail sentences up to a third longer than those handed down to Italians for illegal immigrants convicted of a crime. Property rented to such immigrants can now be confiscated, too. The opposition Senator Anna Finocchiaro has said that these latter measures are contrary to the “principle of equality” laid down in the Italian Constitution, whilst the Vatican reminds the government of human rights and points out that linking crime to immigration in people’s minds could encourage racism.

Roberto Maroni, the Interior minister, must defend the measures before Parliament on Tuesday and he states that the number of clandestini who have landed in Italy in the first half of this year is double that for the same period in 2007. A Médecins sans Frontières spokesperson meanwhile puts the figure at 30% more.

Despite all this, 350 clandestini landed on Saturday, 227 of them at Lampedusa. The police are currently investigating the case of 2 Nigerian children, aged 2 and 4, who died during the journey. Their father says that he threw their bodies overboard but questioning continues. Such vulnerable victims of a terrible situation: may they rest in peace, whatever happened.

14 comments:

jmb said...

I wondered when they would do something like this, it is a big problem that they don't want to deal with for the simple reason that there is no real viable solution.

CherryPie said...

It is just so sad that the world has come to this...

Andrew Allison said...

Three years ago I had my wallet stolen by a group of Albanian women and children whilst in Rome. Luckily, after raising the alarm on a quiet Metro station on Easter Day, the woman who stole my wallet dropped it back on the floor without removing any money or cards.

I know illegal immigration is a huge problem for Italy, and I have every sympathy for the government as they try and tackle - what seems - an impossible problem.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Very well put together and to follow the links, we get an idea of the extent of the problem. Hard to know how they can handle it.

Dragonstar said...

It must be a measure of the complete desperation felt by these people. Undertaking this kind of journey, with families - I can't begin to put myself in their shoes.

Winchester whisperer said...

What are they going to do: scare them off with gunboats?

mutleythedog said...

Its a terrible situation I know. All those brave enterprising young guys wasting their lives... they are needed to build Africa.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. Yes, I just cannot see a solution, either. Cherrypiue, I agree, it is tragic. AA, I sympathise as a similar thing happened to me once in Paris. It's a horrible feeling. I, too, sympathise with anyone who has to deal with this, especially the coastguards and police who find the bodies in the sea: it must be terribly distressing for them.
Thanks, James.
I agree, Dragonstar: I cannot imagine....
I don't know, WW. Nothing, it seems, can stop this tide of desperation.
Mutley, I agree.

Girl on the Run... said...

Oh my gosh those poor babies! I pray to God morality and peace find its way back here.

M

Ellee Seymour said...

I would say these measures go against human rights, but I also have strong sympathies with the Italians because of the cultural differences, and the comment made by Andrew. It's very, very tough.

jams o donnell said...

I fear that all governments are on a hiding to nothing while

people are desperate to emigrate

organised crime preys on their desperation

people in the developed world exploit illegals

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Agree, M. Hi, ellee. Yes, it is very dificult indeed. Couldn't agree more, jams.

cb said...

When I was living in Sicily, I found the attitude to clandestini much more positive than I had when I was living in the Veneto.

It is very hard for immigrants who are the 'wrong' colour to integrate into Italian life and I feel that the Italian press (which I still peruse occasionally from London) have created a much more demonic image of clandestini that might otherwise have existed in public perception - but then, I suppose the Right has hold on media outlets.
It's sad though - but the more that people who are forced into the position of illegal immigration are made out to be pariahs and not worthy of sympathy, the more crime that will be created and the more the general public will feel that it is acceptable to treat people as less than human merely because their documents weren't in order when they entered the country.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Cb, thank you for commenting. I follow your blog but hadn't realised you had lived in Sicily. I'm very interested in all that you say, especially the comparison between attitudes here and in the Veneto. Again, I agree with you.

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