Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lampedusa- the Italian Key West?

While reading the New York Times this morning, I came upon an article called "Libyan immigrants become Italian immigrants." It describes the current crisis on the island of Lampedusa, which I spoke of some time ago. But the current unrest (understatement) in North Africa has exacerbated the already very difficult situation.

What struck me for the first time while reading the article was Foreign Minister Frattini's outright statement that Gheddafi (or however the hell his name is spelled, there are like seven different versions) is using and has been using immigration as an act of hostility against Europe- unleashing a flood of desperate people, many directed toward the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. Lampedusa is actually closer to Africa (Tunisia) than Italy (Sicily). Being the daughter of a native Key Wester the analogy with Castro came to mind. And the Cuban dictator did indeed get rid of many of his "undesirables" by letting them float (literally) toward Southern Florida. Key West and the Keys do not of course have the horrible emergency that is occurring in Lampedusa. But the extreme south of Europe is becoming as problematic as our southern borders with regard to the immigration problem.

This is having repercussions elsewhere in Europe, with the Italians fighting with the French over outbound immigrants, and now the Danish modifying Schengen to reinstate border controls with Germany and Sweden. All of this confirming the idea I've had for some time that Europe is not in a good way.