Blogwatch

November 19, 2008
Italy’s immigration debate intensifies

Last week, the Italian government announced that it will work to cut the number of unskilled immigrants. About 24,241 illegal immigrants came to Italy between January and September of this year, reflecting a massive influx to the country.

In July, the Italian government declared a state of emergency due to the high level of illegal immigration, largely from Africa. The following month, soldiers were deployed across the country in an effort to stop crime that has been blamed on illegal immigrants. Even the pope has weighed in on the issue.

More than 3.5 million foreign-born people currently live in Italy.

Worldfocus correspondent Martin Seemungal heads to the northern town of Treviso, where gunslinging mayor Giancarlo Gentilini has brought order to the town and cracked down on illegal immigration, even as accusations of racism linger.

Below, bloggers in Italy and around the world assess the country’s debate on immigration.

The “(We) Can Do Better” blog warns that “Italians are doomed to extinction,” arguing that crime and immigration are twin issues and that the battle for Italian civilization is already lost.

Blogger “Mohammad” suggests that the Italian people are not aware of the reality of immigration, in part because politicians have misused the issue.

The “Roma Rights Network,” written on behalf of the Romani people (many of whom live in camps outside of major Italian cities), claims that Mayor Gentilini has a history of racism and that too many are following his lead.

“The Mandarin” blog criticizes Gentilini’s forced removal of Chinese lanterns from restaurants in Treviso, given that the Chinese contributed greatly to Italian cuisine.

The “Mikeb302000″ blog calls the Berlusconi government’s deployment of military forces in cities a “transparent attempt” to appease xenophobic constituents, while the “Digger’s Realm” blog calls the move a “good start” and praises the prime minister’s stance on immigration.

Blogger “Gabriele,” an Italian currently in Singapore, writes that the three “I’s” of Italy are ignorance, intolerance and injustice, claiming that the country is missing out on the opportunities of a multi-ethnic society.

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Comments

7 comments

#7

Thanks to the link to my article on the immigration situation in Italy. I live here so I get to watch it from the inside, so to speak. My children are already from a culturally mixed family, American and Turkish, so I think they’ll have no trouble adapting to whatever diversity develops in Italy over the next decades.

My new blog is here http://mikeb302000.blogspot.com/

#6

The anti-immigrant hysteria that is sweeping Italy is quite distutbing. I lived there in 2006-7 and, trust me, the debate has NOTHING to do with multi-culturalism.

Simply because immigrants were never allowed (or if anything didn’t have the time) to properly integrate in Italy. Mainstream politicians in Italy are routinely coming up with extremely racist stuff. One is a mayor from Berlusconi’s own coalition. The guy’s called Gentilini. The stuff he says about ‘faggots’, ‘blacks’, ‘browns’ and those “etchnics that are destroying our country’ has become run of the mill. And the indifference is growing.

If you find the topic interested, read more (including his ‘quotes’) at Birmingham’s Hagley Road to Ladywood. Here’s the link:

http://mymarilyn.blogspot.com/2008/11/watch-it-italy.html

#5

Italy has the lowest birthrate in the world. The Day of Islam is upon the West and Democracy has become the rope that the West will hang its self with. In the final stage of Democracy the dead corpse feeds upon its self. The only good thing about the coming economic collapse is that it may force the soft europeans to toughen up. Grow some balls and act like men who will fight to protect whats theirs and do it in an ugly way. But I doubt it will ever happen. The Christian has proven the weaker and it is the Muslims who are the real men…and the fact that they have children and europeans have none is all the proof they need. The europeans have already accepted that its all over and that explains their zero birth rates. All they care about at this point is being comfortable on their death bed…theesno fight left in them. Its all about Football and alcohol!

Lets try a little experiment…cancel all the idiotic sports ( Bread and Circuses ) and allow all that built up angst to be vented into a new sport called ” Lets take our country back and throw them out while we still have time.”
Lets call this new game…

” ONCE YOU PICK UP THE WHIP NEVER LET IT DROP!”

#4

Sorry for the confusion, anonymous. I’ve changed it on “on the behalf of” so as not to be misrepresentative.
- Katie, worldfocus.org

#3

If you would have done some research, you would have noticed that the Roma Rights Network is not run by Roma people, but by a white Canadian. Why falsely attribute something to Roma?

#2

There is an important difference between ‘Multiculturalism’ and ‘multi-ethnic’. Indeed nobody is the same, and the attempt to equality has created social monster during the last century. Yet the idea that ‘one country’ should be linked to ‘one’ ethnic group is today a very weak and damaging argument: we live in a globalized world.
Yet while a country like Singapore, which has a clear legislation and effective way of managing migration, benefit form diversity (and also migrants benefit from it) Italy is a country without a clear direction, where illegal immigrants are also part of a political game.
Yet the increase of racist attitudes and violence cannot be simplistically adduced to the increase of number of migrants, but it should be linked also to a lack of knowledge existing within the italian educational system. Many Italian will call ‘marocchino’ (Moroccan) a person whom is from Tunis or Algeria, and so on. There is no idea of whom they are and about their cultures (other than stereotypes).
I tell you this short story from my research: One Algerian was arrested and then brought to prison in Pisa. Since he is a Christian (yes there are Algerian Christians!) he asked for a Bible. The Bible was repeatedly denied on the assumption that Algerians can only be Muslim!
At the same time immigrants approach Italy with many (positive and negative) of their own stereotypes. Italy needs to learn to manage migration rather than on the one hand, inviting it (also through its mass media broadcasted in all the Mediterranean area) and on the other pushing it towards an illegal (but actually wanted cheap labour) reality. This means to use funding and ‘educate’ both the local population and the migrant.
Yet I think that, since Italy and its governments (left or right) seems in the last ten years to be unable to mange (or reform) even main basic elements of the country, how could Italy be able to have a good and rational plan for managing migration?

#1

Multiculturism is for the ignorant. Those who have no beliefs and therefore believe in everything. Everything is equal. Everything is not equal.

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