It appears that the flow of migrant-“rescue” ships into Italy has stopped not because of prohibitions by the Italians, but simply because it is logistically impossible to organize the ships’ putting out to sea.
The NGOs don’t want to stop: Ready to bring in more migrants
The NGOs are itching to return to sea. For them it doesn’t seem to be a problem that bringing migrants into Italy at this time would present further difficulties for our country, which is exhausted by the battle against the coronavirus.
by Mauro Indelicato
March 21, 2020
It is true that in Libya, the war has not stopped, true that the emergency has lasted almost a decade, but that does not detract from the fact that the Italian conflict, in which our country is fighting against Covid-19, is also causing pain and suffering in the population.
This is a principle perhaps almost banal to mention, but not for some representatives of NGOs, which are chomping at the bit to get back to sea and bring in dozens more migrants into Italy. The words of Riccardo Gatti, president of Open Arms, from a few days ago, seem rather eloquent: “In Libya there are still men, women and children risking their lives every day,” declared the head of the Spanish NGO. “In Libya, the coronavirus is not the only problem; their lives are being violated. Every day.”
“The young men of Open Arms consider themselves missionaries of immigration, brave paladins of the weakest, modern-day Robin Hoods,” underlined Maurizio Belpietro in La Verita [The Truth]. They want to return to Libya; for them it almost seems that the only suffering of note is that of those who live on the Mediterranean shore of Africa.
It is not so important to them, therefore, whether Italy today is not able to accept even one more person, considering the thousands who, with difficulty and not a few risks, are confined within the reception centers.
Not only Gatti and not only Open Arms, but the members of the French NGO, SOS Méditerranée are clawing to get out, who yesterday declared that they have docked the Ocean Viking at Marseilles and are respecting the anti-virus regulations in force also in France. “But we are working to return to sea as soon as possible,” they wanted to report.
You remain inside the port because you are forced to do so by circumstances, not to avoid worsening the condition of a country such as ours, exhausted and tested by an unexpected public health emergency, and therefore even more terrible to live in. All of Italy is under pressure from what is happening: not only the citizens, but especially the doctors and volunteers in the ward who have not seen their own families for weeks in order to give the hope of life to all those people who no longer have the strength to breathe on their own.
Based on the words of members of the NGO, there doesn’t seem to be much compassion for Italy and for the Italians. When we are the ones who fall in the chasm of war, there is no humanity to show or maintain. And therefore it matters little that every single disembarkation in our country would amount to stealing the forces of security rescue destined for our war, which we are fighting against the virus.
A single landing of migrants in Italy today could mean dealing a very hard blow at the organizational level, and not only for all those prefectures already engulfed in work to better coordinate logistical interventions relative to the battle against the virus.
An NGO representative who stresses the need to return to the Mediterranean perhaps ignores the emergency on land; perhaps he has not seen the images of Bergamo cemeteries where dozens of people cannot be buried because the necessary plots are lacking, and has no idea of the hell that has descended on the entire peninsula.
Perhaps it is not understood that Italy for now is not a secure port, also that there is a war, and it is not possible to guarantee every ordinary assistance. It is said that, precisely, because in war one would avoid all polemics; still it is impossible not to think of the silence of the governor. The NGOs are not returning to sea only because they cannot organize themselves logistically, but when the conditions permit, the boats will again arrive to engage in reception as in times of peace. Nobody will prohibit them with the same firmness, in which Italians, justly, are asked not to do any outside physical activity.
And in the meantime Europe, for its part, today still contributes in making this situation paradoxical: In Brussels, they are saying they have reinforced the external border, but the asylum-seekers will still be able to come in with no problem. A position that seems almost a wedding invitation for those NGOs, according to whom the Italian war is a secondary problem and the suffering of our country, perhaps, not even worth taking into consideration.