UNITED has updated its List of Refugee Deaths on the occasion of the International Refugee Day on 20 June, a list that now records 34,361 deaths which are a direct result of the fatal policies of Fortress Europe. The List of Deaths has been published by Il Manifesto newspaper in Italy today, drawing attention to the controversial migration policies of the Italian government.
Despite figures show a further decrease in arrivals on Italian shores compared to the decade-lowest 2017 levels, the new Italian government has made “migrants” its first and foremost priority. Wording is, in this case, essential: by avoiding the traditional (in the Italian political speech) distinction between asylum seekers, refugees and (economic) migrants, the yellow-green coalition is intentionally pooling everyone, including people living in the country for years or decades, into the same, negatively-coloured cluster.
By raising the level of conflict, Mr Salvini, the new Minister of Interior and Lega Nord’s leader, is trying to bring his fight on European turf, aiming at a revision of the Dublin Regulation. All this, despite the fact that Lega Nord abstained on the reform of the Regulation passed by the European Parliament a few weeks ago (and 5stars Movement, LN’s coalition partners, voted against).
Despite the short period of strong and successful efforts with the Mare Nostrum operation (2013-2014), Italy has a long record of human rights violations and agreements with dictatorships and governments of different colours, and the current situation represents an evolution rather than an innovation.
What is more shocking, however, is that the latest polls show how almost 70% of Italians approve Salvini’s violent actions and words, making it nearly impossible for NGOs to continue their work on the sea as well as civil society to build an alternative political strategy on the ground.