Italy’s minister of foreign affairs, Angelino Alfano, met today with the head of the United Nation’s Support Mission in Libya – Ghassan Salame – with a view to finding a resolution to the political crisis in the North African nation.
“The UN must show leadership,” said Alfano. “Up until today there have been too many deals, too many negotiators and zero results. The instability in Libya is not a Serie B game, it is an absolute priority,” added Alfano.
A replacement of population is under way in Italy. Niggers replace guineas! But if you open the mainstream newspapers, you barely find these news. No television station has dedicated any time to what is happening. No criticism is allowed. The invasion is considered a done deal.
What is causing growing Italian anger is the role of charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the transport of migrants across the Mediterranean. The image the charities like to present is that of desperate people putting to sea in any vessel they can lay their hands on because whatever risks they run cannot exceed the dangers of staying in their homelands. Save the Children, for example, declares in heartrending prose on its website, between photos of young children wrapped in foil blankets, that ‘children are fleeing bullets, poverty, persecution and the growing impact of climate change, only to drown in European waters’.
The reality could not be more different. The vast majority of migrants from Libya are young men paying smugglers in what they see as a calculated risk to reach a better life in Europe. The business model of the smugglers does not include transporting their customers all the way to Italy, but rather to take them 12 nautical miles to the boundary of Libya’s territorial waters, so they can then be taxied the rest of the way to Europe. The people smugglers are quite open about what they are doing: what can only be described as a Libya-based migrant travel agency has set up a Facebook page offering ‘tickets’ to ‘passengers’ with ‘discounts for group bookings’ on ‘ferries’ — i.e., smuggler boats — complete with phone number. The journey, it says, lasts only ‘three or four hours’ before rescue by an NGO, Italian or EU vessel, which will complete the ferry service to Italy.
Alfano reemphasized his support for the Tripoli-based volatile government of Fayez al Sarraj. He also stressed the need for economic aid to Libya as well as measures to tackle people smugglers operating out of the North African country.
Al Sarraj is prime minister of the Government of National Accord formed in December 2015. Skirmishes however continue between forces loyal to the former Benghazi-based Libyan House of Representatives, Tripoli and southern rebels. ISIS and Al Qaida in the Maghreb continue to wage war for control of oil facilities and territory, as do former Gaddafi loyalists.
Salame stressed that only “cooperation and transparency between Italy and Libya” will lead to the best results. Salame also praised the Italian navy for its continued efforts off the Libyan coast.
Ghassam Salame, a former Lebanese culture minister appointed in June to head UN operations in Libya, described the cooperation between Tripoli and Rome as a “very constructive” way of dealing with an acute problem.
“It would be absolutely unrealistic to ignore the seriousness of the challenge of irregular migration,” Salame said after meeting Italian Foreign Minister Angelo Alfano in Rome. “There are hundreds of millions of them across the world. This is a very serious problem.”
“I also believe each country has an absolute right to control its borders and that the best way of doing that is through cooperation with neighbouring countries. We are on a good track of strengthening cooperation to meet this challenge which is a challenge for all of us.”
More than 600,000 refugees and other migrants have reached Italy from Libya since 2014.
Italy’s centre-left government is under intense pressure from domestic opponents and EU partners to close down the route. Its navy is providing technical assistance to the Libyan coastguard, which has also been provided with new patrol boats and training by its former colonial master.
Alfano said the cooperation was beginning to bear fruit, in a reference to a more than 50-percent fall in the number of migrants rescued at sea during July, when compared to the same month in 2016.
Italy has also been working to stem migrant arrivals in Libya through better controls on the southern border, cooperation with countries like Niger, Chad and Mali that migrants transit on their way to the Mediterranean and a voluntary repatriation programme.
Refugee agencies say Libya is too unstable for any potential refugee to be safely returned there.
There is particular concern over the fate of migrants who end up in the country’s detention camps, where conditions are usually squalid and a lack of regulation means people risk torture, sexual abuse and forced labour.
Alfano insisted the Italian government would not compromise on its commitment to human rights.
“It is not a derby between security and humanity,” he said. But he acknowledged Libya’s migrant holding facilities leave much to be desired.
“Now that we have an opportunity to reduce the fluxes and organise refugee camps in Libya, we have to invest heavily in an international, multilateral humanitarian operation to ensure these camps have an acceptable standard in terms of human rights and every other respect,” Alfano said.
Minister for Transport Delrio, talking in an interview with Repubblica, stressed that the Italian coastguard will continue to collaborate with all NGOs to try and solve the crisis in the Mediterranean. Pressed on whether NGO boats who break the embargo to enter Libyan waters are inadvertently aiding human traffickers, Minister Delrio urged all NGOs to collaborate.
“They have to work together and for all, I understand their point of view when they say, ‘I’m an NGO, not the state.’ But I am the state and I want to end the shameful trafficking of human beings,” Delrio told us.
Corrupt NGOs are colluding in a people-trafficking operation. If NGOs stopped providing a pick-up service a few miles off Libya, and if Italy started returning migrants to the North African countries whence they came, the smugglers’ boats would not put to sea. Those who are dying are the victims of a well–intentioned but thoroughly misguided operation which will come to be seen as great moral stain on Europe.
There are days when the Italian navy and coast guard rescue 1,700 migrants in 24 hours. The country is exhausted. There are Italian villages where one-tenth of the population is already made up of new migrants. We are talking about small towns of 220 residents and 40 migrants.
One of the major aspects of this demographic revolution is that it is taking place in a country which is dramatically aging. According with a new report from the Italian Office of Statistics, Italy’s population will fall to 53.7 million in half a century — a loss of seven million people. Italy, which has one of the world’s lowest fertility rates, will lose between 600,000 to 800,000 citizens every year. Immigrants will number more than 14 million, about one-fourth of the total population. But in the most pessimistic scenario, the Italian population could drop to 46 million, a loss of 14 million people.
In 2050, a third of Italy’s population will be made up of foreigners, according to a UN report, “Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Decline and Aging Populations”, which designs a cultural melting-pot that could explode in cultural and social tensions. The level of arrivals will fall from 300,000 to 270,000 individuals per year by 2065; during the same period, it is expected that 14.4 million people will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.
In addition, the humanitarian-aid system has been hit by new scandals. “The investigative hypothesis to be verified is that subjects linked to ISIS act as logistical support to migration flows”, was a warning just delivered in front of the Schengen Committee, to the Italian anti-mafia and counterterrorism prosecutor, Franco Roberti. There are now judges investigating the connection between the migrants’ smugglers in North Africa and the Italian NGOs rescuing them in the Mediterranean. People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs’ ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia’s economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.
Only 2.65 percent of those migrants who arrived in Italy were granted asylum as genuine refugees, according to the United Nations. The other people are apparently not fleeing wars and genocide. Yet, despite all this evidence, one cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants’ centers to Nazi “concentration camps”. One wonders where are the gas chambers, medical “experiments,” crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads. Italian newspapers are now running articles about the “Mediterranean Holocaust”, comparing the migrants dead by trying to reach the southern of Italy to the Jews gassed in Auschwitz. Another journalist, Gad Lerner, to support the migrants, described their condition with the same word coined by the Nazis against the Jews: untermensch, inferior human beings. These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate.
To understand how shameful these comparisons are, we have to take a look at the cost of every migrant to Italy’s treasury. Immigrants, once registered, receive a monthly income of 900 euros per month (30 euros per day for personal expenses). Another 900 euros go to the Italians who house them. And 600 euros are needed to cover insurance costs. Overall, every immigrant costs to Italy 2,400 euros a month. A policeman earns half of that sum. And a naval volunteer who saves the migrants receives a stipend of 900 euros a month. Were the Nazis so kind with their Jewish untermenschen?
The cost of migrants on Italy’s public finances is already immense and it will destroy the possibility of any economic growth. “The overall impact on the Italian budget for migrant spending is currently quantified at 2.6 billion [euros] for 2015, expected to be 3.3 billion for 2016 and 4.2 for 2017, in a constant scenario”, explains the Ministry of the Economy. If one wants to put this in proportion, these numbers give a clearer idea of how much Italy is spending in this crisis: in 2017, the government is spending 1.9 billion euros for pensions, but 4.2 billion euros for migrants, and 4.5 billion euros for the national housing plan against 4.2 billion euros for migrants.
The Italian cultural establishment is now totally focused on supporting this mass migration. The Italian film nominated at the Academy Awards last year is Fire at Sea, in which the main character is a doctor treating the migrants upon their arrival. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi carried with him 27 DVDs of the film to a session of the European Council. Italy’s commercial television channels produced many television programs about the migrants, such as “Lampedusa”, from the name of the Italian island. 100,000 Italians even took the streets of Milan for a “rally of solidarity” with the migrants. What “solidarity” can there be if half a million people have been rescued by the Italian government and the whole country seems determined to open its doors to all of North Africa?
While the ports of southern Italy are filled with thousands of newly arrived immigrants, the deputy for the Brothers of Italy [Fratelli d’Italia, FDI], Edmondo Cirielli, launches a new, ominous warning that, at least until now, has not been taken into account. “Those who land on Italian shores,” he points out, “come primarily from Nigeria, country with the second-largest number, after South Africa, of people living with AIDS.” He now wants to know whether the government is doing something to prevent, or at least monitor this risk.
Supposedly, according to estimates, at least 20% of the Nigerian population is HIV positive. “And,” calculates Cirielli, “because in the last three and a half years more than 80 thousand Nigerians have arrived, it is to be assumed that more than 15 thousand of them are HIV positive”. Nigeria is, moreover, the fourth country in the world for tuberculosis, and 22% of people with this disease live with HIV. “This is a very serious situation when you consider that too many people are not in treatment,” says the representative of the Brothers of Italy who, at this very hour, has submitted a parliamentary question demanding to know “what initiatives the government intends to take to ensure the safety and health of members of law enforcement, volunteers and all those involved in the landing and rescue operations on our shores and in the immediate following phases.”
Cirielli wants to hear from the government “whether unions of all workers and cooks in the military who intervened at the time of landing and throughout the national territory” have been informed of the risk of contracting HIV “since you are multiplying acts of delinquency of immigrants.” “The government of Renzi’s Democratic Party,” concludes the supporter of the Brothers of Italy, “says it is for prophylaxis, to protect all Italian citizens.”
Winston Churchill was convinced that the Mediterranean was the “soft underbelly” of Hitler’s Europe. It has now become the soft underbelly of Europe’s transformation into Eurabia.