Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MARE DI FRONTIERA

Thus has the Mediterranean been named by an Italian UN spokesperson, the reason being that the tragic, often pathetically unseaworthy, boatloads of sorrow keep arriving: 356 clandestini [would-be illegal immigrants] reached Lampedusa in the early hours of Monday and the "Welcome" centre there is again at crisis point: 2000 poor souls were reported to be there on Sunday night, although the place only really has room for 750.

"Enough!" cries the Mayor, who, understandably, believes that the island cannot go on hosting all who are rescued at sea. A volunteer force consisting of residents and tourists is now patrolling the perimeters of the centre, as the army cannot manage the whole area.

As soon as some clandestini are removed from Lampedusa to other such centres in Italy, more arrive to take their place, it seems.

No one, particularly in Catholic Italy, is arguing that the saving of human life is not a duty; just that, this done, the aftercare should be shared.

It is a very difficult issue that tears this blogger, for one, apart. Meanwhile, 71 people, among them 8 women, 4 of whom were pregnant, are reported missing after a boat got into trouble off Malta this evening.

God help them and may all of us who sleep in our beds be grateful for that tonight.

16 comments:

Dragonstar said...

I cannot truly understand the desperation of these poor people. I wish I had an answer to the problem, but I wouldn't know where to begin. My heart bleeds for them.

Anonymous said...

Yes. These people are needed in Africa methinks. Europe can manage without extra buskers and boot cleaners...

Crushed said...

And yet still no one gets to grips with the real issue; why they come.

CherryPie said...

I know how you feel. I struggle with lots of ideas around this issue!

jmb said...

I watched an interesting TV program about fake goods recently, all kinds, and one part talked about the Mafia in Naples being the distributors of such goods. Apparently they also bring in boatloads of Africans to sell them on the streets as well.

Cat said...

I think anyone driven to such desperation should be offered charity or at the very least, charitable thoughts, which I thank you for sharing. I am the (grand)child of refugees who fled to the UK though, and I think that will always shape my perspective.

Whispering Walls said...

I suppose if Berlusconi began a policy of shooting the boatmen, that may reduce the numbers of people arriving.

flutterby said...

Where do these desperate people come from in Africa? I'm guessing Libya.

marymaryquitecontrary said...

Welchcakes, it is all too sad. What kind of troubles are these people fleeing from that they risk their lives so.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Mine too, dragonstar. Mutley, it is not as simple as that. I taught many asylum seekers in Britain and still lose sleep over the tragic tales they had to tell. Crushed, this is the problem: their lives must be terrible, for they all know the risks. Hi, cherrypie. I know exactly what you mean. Interesting, jmb. I had not thought of that aspect of the situation. Cb, I totally agree. That's a bit extreme, WW! I can at least report that some of the boatmen and people traffickers have been brought to justice here. Flutterby, many from Libya, as you guessed, but other African countries too. MM, that is what I find so sad - trying to imagine this. These people, it seems to me, are fleeing a life without hope and most of us cannot imagine that.

Nunyaa said...

Sad the extremes these people go to :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Yes, it is terrible, nunyaa.

David said...

Your blog is always a friend, often a feast and today a thought for prayer on the brute Darwinism of economics.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, David. You have always encouraged me and I really need that right now. Yes, economics can be so cruel.

Liz Hinds said...

It's impossible to imagine what horrors they are escaping that make them take such risks.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Liz, that is exactly what I keep trying to imagine - and cannot.

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