There’s some sort of collective cognitive dissonance in Italy about the migrant crisis. Both politicians and mainstream media, right or left, “globalist” or “populist” put the blame on the other European countries and their alleged lack of solidarity for not wanting to redistribute the 180’000 migrants Italy took last year. It isn’t just the fault of the Visegrad Group. Since the European meeting in Tallin, the Italian government received the “Non” of French President, motivating his answer with the argument that 80% of the arrivals are economic migrants,1)the politically correct term for illegals that should be repatriated, the “No” of Spain, the “Nein” of Austria and so on.
The opinion of the European Commission is unchanged, Italy should speed up returns, with the supplemental aid from the EU itself.2)
So while solidarity isn’t really lacking, the media and politicians, regardless of their persuasion, began screaming “Europe has forsaken us”, “They left us alone”. As if Italy were facing a natural calamity and were not responsible for what is going on. Reality could not be more different.
The “populist” party Movimento 5 Stelle almost got it. They found3)a video where Emma Bonino, former Minister for Foreign Affaris, admitted that Italian governments had agreed that everyone rescued by Frontex should be brought to Italy. So the beans are spilt: all the migrants were being shipped to Italy because… the Italian government decided so. It may be that the then Prime Minister Matteo Renzi traded flexibility on the Italian budged with the European Commission in exchange for taking in all the migrants rescued in Italian and international waters by Frontex.
Almost there. It was not just a simple trade. The immigration policy adopted by the Monti, Letta and Renzi governments isn’t casual, it’s actually planned. The Italian NGOs provide the political argument, juridical support and lobbying within the Italian political system whereas the international NGOs provide the transport from Africa to Italy. The reasoning is actually rather simple: to offset the fact that Italian births are lower than deaths, Italy should import migrants from the rest of the world; the theory is listed on the UN website under the name “Replacement migration“.4)
The suggestion that the Italian governments adopted it comes from Emma Bonino herself, who insists Italy should take 160’000 migrants a year within that policy framework,5)with Laura Boldrini, President of the Lower Chamber, suggesting 300-400’000,6)and Luigi Manconi, Senator of the ruling Democratic Party, author of the book “Accogliamoli Tutti” – “Let’s welcome everyone”,7)citing the same arguments. The Monti and Letta government respectively also assigned the ministry in charge of immigration and integration policies to members of “Comunità di Sant’Egidio”, the President Andrea Riccardi and Cécile Kyenge respectively, the latter of whom wrote the preface to Manconi’s book. If government members in charge of immigration and foreign affairs but also parliament deputies openly state that their approach to the topic is to welcome hundreds of thousands of people, going as far as saying that “if they weren’t coming, Italy should go to Africa to take them”,(Bonino again on facebook,8) )then why is everyone surprised that it’s actually happening?
It is also certainly curious that Manconi and Bonino, the most prominent advocates of the policy that according to their claim would help the Italian economy, now demand that the rest of Europe “open the floodgates” and release 200’000 temporary visas to the migrants.9)
Wait what? Didn’t their “scientific, based on facts and common sense” approach guarantee that welcoming everyone would help the Italian economy? Then why do they want to dump them to the rest of Europe? The most shocking element of all isn’t their irresponsibility, but the fact that there is no debate in Italy about it. No trial, no questioning. They are hailed as protectors of the Italian interests instead of being branded as the root of the problem. It is therefore no surprise that the rest of Europe has no intention of rewarding the responsible for this mess with “solidarity”.
The insanity is never ending. Movimento 5 Stelle, which had almost found the source of the problem, is now looking for a possibility to govern after February’s election and is also looking for expert opinion on how to manage immigration. On the blog of Beppe Grillo two ideas have been posted, one by Paolo Morozzo della Rocca,10)of Comunità di Sant’Egidio, who are the same people in charge of immigration policies under Monti and Letta with the “Mare Nostrum” operation and its insane costs, and the other by Maurzio Veglio11)from ASGI (Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration), an organization belonging to the Soros network in Italy, very much like Democrat Manconi’s own A Buon Diritto. Its partners include Migregroup, with the project “Boats4People”; the same boats are shipping migrants from the Libyan shores to Italy.
Both ideas resemble previous approaches, first taking in the people, regardless of whether their number is actually sustainable, then crying to the rest of Europe; and since they are the experts on the topic, then clearly it’s Europe’s fault when their approach is proven by reality to be unsustainable and detrimental. Regardless of which party is in charge next year, the migrant crisis for Italy looks likely to continue, very much like the refusal of the rest of Europe to take part in it.