The Camp of the Saints, 2011 edition
I posted earlier today about the refugee crisis on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Thousand of Tunisian immigrants have arrived since the “jasmine revolutions” began in January, and more keep pouring in.
I speculated in my earlier post that the immigrants would soon form a majority of the inhabitants, if they haven’t already. Now the latest reports seem to indicate that the Muslim arrivals are indeed more than 50% of the island’s population: more than 9,000 have arrived since the uprisings in North Africa began.
Bear in mind that all of these migrants are being packed into refugee centers that were designed to hold only a fraction of their current population. The Tunisian arrivals have shown a propensity for getting drunk and making trouble, to the extent that the Lampedusan authorities banned the sale of alcohol to non-citizens.
Despite its moralizing and high-handed regulations about how immigrants must be treated, the EU seems unwilling to address the problem in any serious or systematic fashion. The French have explicitly instructed Italy not to allow any of the refugees to migrate across the border into France, and insist that the Italians must accept the return of any aliens who do manage to get through.
As the numbers increase and conditions worsen, the explosive potential of the situation can only intensify.
Here’s the latest from AKI:
Boats Carrying 1,700 Migrants Land on Italian Islands
Rome, 8 March (AKI) – Around 1,700 Tunisians over the last days have arrived by boat to the tiny southern Italian islands of Lampedusa and Linosa causing overcrowding in a detention centre designed to hold unauthorised immigrants.
To ease the conditions at the centre on Lampedusa and make room for fresh arrivals, 264 migrants on Monday were transferred to other centres in Italy. Around 1,200 people are packed into the centre designed to hold 800.
Many of the more than 9,000 migrants who’ve reached Italy since January reportedly set sail from the Tunisian port of Zarzis, where truckloads and cars full of migrants are reported to be arriving. The migrants are understood to be paying 1,400 euros each for their 10-12 hour passage to a ‘new life’ in Europe.
Italy has warned of a bible-like exodus of migrants arriving to European shores from North Africa where popular uprisings toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and is verging on civil war in Libya.
The migrant influx has placed a strain on Lampedusa, where the population is 6,000 people, and Italy’s interior minister Roberto Maroni on Sunday assured the island’s mayor Bernardino De Rubeis that the government was gradually emptying the detention centre.
Italy has asked the European Union for 100 million euros to help it manage the situation.
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.