Italy: Faced with the growing flow of migrants, the showdown between Meloni and NGOs gets worse

91,711 arrivals of illegal immigrants in 2020 for Spain, Italy and Greece, 119,831 in 2021 and 123,476 in 2022 (as of 30/10) of which 83,727 for Italy alone with the massive arrival of Egyptians, Tunisians and Bengalis. These are the data provided by the High Commissioner for Refugees and reported in a note on the Polemia website. Again according to the same source, “Illegal crossings of the external borders of the Schengen area detected by Frontex since the beginning of 2022 have reached 228,240. This is an increase of 70% compared to the same period in 2021. The Frontex agency emphasizes that the number of crossings detected in the last quarter is the highest since 2016. This shows that the migration issue is extremely urgent in Europe and more particularly in Italy. In addition to the economic and social crisis, there is therefore a migration crisis, more or less in the same proportions as that of 2015-16.

Among our transalpine neighbors, since Giorgia Meloni came to power ten days ago, it would seem that the pressure of NGOs specializing in the recovery of migrants off the Libyan coast seems to have increased. Chance or coincidence? Obviously, it is a question of bringing a right-wing government into line as soon as possible whose firmness of speech on the migratory plane has not escaped anyone.

Facts

“On November 4, after 13 days of waiting for a safe harbor for 179 people rescued on board, the Humanity 1 ship received a decree signed by the Minister of the Interior Matteo Piantedosi, the Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto and the Minister of Infrastructure and Mobility Matteo Salvini. The decree prohibits the ship from remaining in Italian territorial waters for a period longer than “necessary for rescue operations and assistance to people in emergency situations and in poor health”. reports the Corriere della sera. In the night between 6 and 7 November, in fact, the Humanity 1 ship flying the German flag was therefore authorized to approach the port of Catania. 144 migrants reach the mainland (women, children, the sick), 35 remain on board. Captain Joachim Ebeling refuses to leave until all the illegal immigrants have landed to apply for asylum ashore: it will then be up to Italy to take full responsibility for them. We remind you that the Contrada Imbricola hotspot, which has 400 seats, has 1,300 residents.

At the same time, the boat Geo Barents, flying the Norwegian flag and on which Doctors Without Borders operates, was authorized to disembark 357 vulnerable people while 215 remained on board. On the afternoon of November 7, three people jumped into the sea to reach the quay, rescued by the port authorities.

Faced with the influx of illegal immigrants, what is the Italian government doing?

The strategy of Matteo Piantedosi, Minister of the Interior, and Matteo Salvini, current Minister of Infrastructures and as such in charge of port facilities, is therefore that of a selective landing, notified with this decree sent to the captains of the boats. It is about disembarking and providing assistance to vulnerable people, that is, women, children and the sick, and refusing the disembarkation of others. The idea is that the country of which they fly the flag must take care of the occupants of the boats: a way to leave the EU to its responsibilities, to turn the moral argument against its most fervent supporters, the very ones that Italy shows humanity.

For the moment, the EU refuses to process asylum applications on boats, which would amount to treating them as if they were in Norway or Germany. These two countries, although models of social democracy, refuse to take charge of these migrants. Germany, which has never hidden a certain antagonism towards Italy, even adopts an overhanging and moralistic attitude. The Infomigrants website says it clearly: ” The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it assumes “no responsibility” for people rescued by private Norwegian-flagged vessels in the Mediterranean. Germany, for its part, insisted, in a diplomatic “note” addressed to Italy, on the fact that charitable organizations “have made an important contribution to saving lives” and asked Rome “to help them as much as possible. soon””.

The lawyers of the captain of Humanity 1 filed an appeal before the administrative court of Lazio to rule on the legitimacy of this decree issued by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and that of infrastructures, and another to the civil court of Catania so that migrants can complete the application ground asylum. Some now refuse to eat. They come mainly from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The Italian left has enthusiastically seized the media scene, hastily transported to the port of Catania. Newly elected MP Aboubakar Soumahoro, of Ivorian origin, even boarded and said on Twitter: “If the remaining castaways are turned back, we will challenge this decision in all appropriate fora. “

Matteo Salvini, meanwhile, sees the issue of these rescues off the coast of Libya from a very different perspective: “Those aboard these ships pay around $ 3,000, which becomes weapons and drugs for the traffickers. These are increasingly dangerous organized trips. We must put an end to trafficking not only in human beings, which is already huge, but in arms and drugs linked to trafficking in human beings (…) ”. (HANDLE)

Other ships, the Ocean Viking and the Rise Above are off the Sicilian coast with 234 and 89 migrants respectively waiting to disembark. And there are reports of another ship, chartered by another NGO, with more than 500 migrants on board …

Apart from the fact that this story, once again, highlights the notorious complacency of the EU towards migrant smugglers, through an ultra-lax migration policy, that is nonexistent, this inevitable confrontation around the migration issue between left Italians and the ‘European Union on the one hand, and Giorgia Meloni’s government on the other is truly the test of fire for the brand new Italian Prime Minister. A week after having made, according to the media, a successful tour in Brussels, and while he had reiterated his desire to defend the EU’s external borders, Giorgia Meloni risks seeing the migration trap approaching.

The next few hours will be decisive, for Italy as well as for the rest of Europe. If this government agrees to let its eminently sovereign migration policy be dictated by NGOs and cannot oppose this continuous influx of illegal immigrants when it has all the cards in hand for it, who will be able to do so?

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