On November 3, the new Executive Meloni renewed the Italy-Libya Memoranduma convention between the Italian government and the coast guard of the African country to stop migration by sea. The agreement was launched in 2017 with the PD in Palazzo Chigi and was later also embraced, despite international condemnation, by the Five Star Movement. It is, perhaps, the last episode of errors, propaganda, controversy, hypocrisy and contradictions in a Mediterranean that has not yet found peace.
If the argument is daily subjected to easy and superficial criticism, the matrix of the matter is arduously complicated. The first thing is to understand that most of the landings on the Italian coasts come from Libya, paradoxically one of the few countries in the world not to sign the Geneva convention in 1951 that imposes respect for human rights. The story goes back a long way: after Gaddafi, the only legitimate government recognized by the United Nations was that of Al-Sarraj, although in 2015 neither the UN nor the European Union asked him to join Geneva. Only UNHCR opened an office in Tripoli in 2017, precisely when the then Italian Interior Minister (Marco Minniti) obtained from the Libyan leader certain security guarantees and respect for the integrity of the individual.
They were -and are- the famous times of slogans “aiutiamoli a casa loro”, something like let’s help them there, in a Libya where many of these migrants from other countries, before the closed doors of Europe, end up being tortured and raped in prisons of developing countries.
Problems with Macron
Meanwhile, today Italy burns. In information collected by the Corriere della Seraaccording to the Italian Department of Public Safety, over the past year Almost 100,000 people have arrived on the shores of the belpaese, which has a reception system capable of supporting no more than 70,000. This extremely complicated situation serves as a framework to ridicule the diplomatic conflict between Meloni and Macron to see who will hang the medal of ocean vikingthe humanitarian ship of the NGO Sos Mediterranée that rescued hundreds of migrants who were shipwrecked in the waters of Libya and Malta.
A residual problem at the crossroads of a complex and strategic sea, which only serves to legitimize the political reputation of one or the other Executive. And add to the hypocrisy: migrants who arrive with NGOs, according to Eurostat and ISPI (Institute for International Policy Studies), account for only 10% of the total. “The only clear thing is that the Mediterranean is a sea that everyone disputes. In addition, with France there have always been problems because it is influenced by its former colonies in the Maghreb,” he explains. fabrizio maronta, one of the leading geopolitical experts in Italy. Also, journalist for the monthly magazine limes.
In one of its last issues, it dedicated a special to Mare Nostrum, a basin that sews a crossroads of three continents (Africa, Europe and Asia). In addition, it has an area of 2.51 million kilometers, 46,000 kilometers of coastline and more than 450 million people leaning out on it.
Not to mention its dependence on the Atlantic Ocean (through the Strait of Gibraltar) and its connection with the Black Sea -through the Bosporus- and in the southeast -through the Suez Canal- with the Red Sea, which ends in the Indian Ocean. “The curious thing is that in Italy the migration crisis is taking place on land and not at sea. Mainly through the Alps towards Switzerland, Austria… We are a transit point in the Schengen area. As if that were not enough, we do not have a reception policy at the level of other countries such as France or the Netherlands, where the landings that we receive mainly from Tunisia and Libya end up arriving, which however are more like the penultimate stopover, places of transit. The starting point is Pakistan, Nigeria or Bangladesh,” he asserts. Also Syria, Sudan, Egypt and now Ukraine.
In short, a heterogeneous origin: coming from countries at war (refugees with the right to asylum) or from realities that, without a war, are even more calamitous. “In that case they are called economic migrants, and it is in the will of each country to receive them or not. The law of the sea says that the castaway has to be saved; that of the land, that only the refugee has the right to asylum (Dublin Convention, 2015). Everything is complex, and it is instrumentalized. Declaring war on NGOs guarantees votes, but solves nothing. Obvious that migrants really matter little. Much less to traffickers, who can charge, per person, from ten to twelve thousand euros”. The trip, because it is a trip, is actually to nowhere. To the deepest bowels of human misery. A wandering between chains whipped by fate and its circumstances.
impact of war
The Mediterranean is an aquatic and terrestrial space that varies according to the actor that observes it. Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) already said it: “The tears of our sovereigns have the salty taste of the sea that they want to ignore.”
To tell the truth, it happens that everyone needs it and actually mistreats it without scruples. “With the war, Putin is trying to reappropriate Russian spaces from the sea. He is trying to overthrow the Ukraine and turn off the tap on grain and fertilizer exports. This triggers migratory flows in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and the entire Horn of Africa. Logically it produces collateral damage to Italy,” says Maronta, perhaps referring to that base of the Russian military navy located in Syria. It is called Tartus, it is of Soviet heritage (once the capital in the expansion project at the time of Peter the Great ) and was reactivated in 2015.
Tartus is one more problem in a boiling sea. Because the Mediterranean is a strategic point, capital in the geopolitics of all the countries that dispute it directly and indirectly. Through it they navigate average of ten thousand boats per day, and this the Navy has to control. But, as it says Lucio Caracciolodirector of limes, “Italy, culturally and politically, is American. It also depends on its Navy, because ours has no weight.” That causes the country of the boot to be involved in great wars that always have to do with seas furrowed by waters and pirates. Because on the one hand there is the US-China conflict in Taiwan and on the other the US-Russia conflict across a widened Mediterranean towards the ocean through the Black Sea.
If you add to these fragile balances the fact that Italy is close to the Balkans (Russian influence), and that Mario Draghi managed to make Algeria the first supplier of Italian gas before he left, things get even more complicated. “Algeria is also linked to Russia. It depends on it energetically. It buys weapons from it. Italy rejects Russia, but negotiates with a pro-Russian country,” says Professor Caracciolo on his channel World map.
The puzzle is getting bigger and the tunnel with less exit. It has been a long time since on October 3, 2013, almost 370 people lost their lives at sea. From there, and thanks to the important economic injection of the government of Enrico Letta, then an attempt was made to solve a major problem, mainly from the human point of view. It’s been like treating a burn with alcohol and Band-Aids.
While the writer Roberto Saviano and the Meloni-Salvini duo got lost in insubstantial verbal altercations and challenged each other with lawsuits, Antonio Tajani (Foreign Minister) warned days ago – in an interview with release– about the threat it would pose if the Balkans become another Libya. He also spoke of a plan drawn up for developing countries, which on the other hand never interested in their development in order to suck their blood. “The objective is to invest in sub-Saharan Africa. Mixed companies must be created capable of manufacturing infrastructure in order to, in exchange, have low-cost raw materials.”
Little to nothing has changed. The loop continues to turn on itself and all the competitors seek to legitimize their reason in the Mediterranean. The reality dictates that the demographic heat in Italy is enormous and, therefore, the necessary immigration, especially in industrial areas such as Bergamo or Turin, where Fiat is located. Those who manage to reach Lampedusa -a wonderful island without truth- or Catania want to leave quickly. Leaving in search of peace, fleeing from themselves, from the war, from those who treat them as if they were a piece of meat or who speculate with them by passing them off as terrorists, rapists or criminals. There is no calm in this damned sea. There never was. Cardinal Richelieu has already warned you.