EU Immigration
October 11, 2013 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Immigrant boat headed to Italy, capsizes, more than 200 people in the water. A little more than a week after a boat sinking that killed over 300 people, the Italian navy has reported another boat is sinking. As refugees flow into the EU, looking for asylum, countries are torn between saving lives and stymieing the flow of people pouring into countries already under strain from austerity.

Sinking refugee ships have been an ongoing problem off the coast of Italy. Frontex, the external border control organization of the EU, is overstretched, tasked across with operations across the entire Mediterranean.

Blog about the situation.
posted by zabuni (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Some points of elaboration: the Mediterranean is dangerous in general, and not only coastal countries are taking in asylum seekers. A messy and dangerous situation all-around.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:13 AM on October 11, 2013

I was shocked to read this on the news a short while ago, and thought there must have been some duplication of the earlier story. Sadly not.

I believe there used to be reception centres in Libya, which cut out the worry of sea crossings and applicant sharing, but I assume they all went in the civil war? Some kind of common policy is overdue, but those countries which currently take fewer asylum seekers per head will fight it strongly.
posted by Thing at 11:15 AM on October 11, 2013

The mayor, Nicolini Giusi, is a very brave woman who ignored death threats working as an anti-mafia activist, and stood as (i think) a Green candidate for mayor after being pressured to by others. All the interviews i have read with her she has come across as really amazing and having lots of integrity, the English ones read translated but there are several around, and in Italian there are a few more and her twitter feed (dully factual).
posted by maiamaia at 11:27 AM on October 11, 2013

Much sympathy for the victims but one is tempted to call this the austerity chickens coming home to roost when looking at root causes.
posted by spicynuts at 12:03 PM on October 11, 2013

By that I mean the tide of immigrants fleeing it, not that austerity = drowning deaths.
posted by spicynuts at 12:04 PM on October 11, 2013

Thank you for posting this. This strange state of globalization in which money and stuff is supposed to just careen around the world, but heaven forbid, people do the same, has real and tragic outcomes. Schumpterian creative destruction sucks when it's your agricultural or industrial sectors it has merrily eviscerated along the way.
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Pope Francis' first trip abroad as pope was to the island of Lampedusa to highlight exactly this issue.
posted by resurrexit at 12:49 PM on October 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

(see also Emanuele Crialese's film Terraferma from a couple of years ago.)

With last week's unusually visible/graphic tragedy (normally the capsizing/drowning happens too far from the coast for the victims bodies to show up at all...), the issue is gathering a lot more media traction and political attention here in Italy than usual. Other incidentals are also factoring in, amongst which Pope Francis' visit to Lampedusa, and Italy's first black government minister.

Given how fraught concerted, cooperative policy-making among EU states tends to be, let's hope more public pressure will force all EU countries to figure out a viable common strategy to make human dignity more of a fundamental principle. The migrations will continue, the issue is only how to keep them from turning so deadly.
posted by progosk at 1:59 PM on October 11, 2013

The migrations will continue, the issue is only how to keep them from turning so deadly.

Oh, there are a lot more issues than that.

Such as who, if anyone, should be offered asylum and on what grounds? If they are to be accepted, to what number and with what sorts of rights and privileges and benefits, if any, in their new country, and must other EU countries be obliged to take them should the country of landing be unable to accommodate them? If not accepted, what is to be done with them? I could go on.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:34 PM on October 11, 2013

Getting rid of the damn Dublin Regulation would be a good start.
posted by knapah at 6:30 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Who would have thought that a measly 4 centuries of colonialism would have consequences?
posted by signal at 8:39 PM on October 11, 2013

Oh, there are a lot more issues than that.

Quite, of course. What's so crushing is that any attempt gets derailed by all kinds of primal fears before the details can even be focused on. So it feels like only by reframing in order to align fundamental human values can the fixing even get off the ground.
posted by progosk at 10:50 PM on October 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

Tragic for the immigrants who are trying to escape hell-on-earth. Tragic for the Italians (especially in the neglected South) who are already hurting (big time) from poor Italian governance + austerity. btw, the bankers who triggered this new round of torture are still riding high with the wind in their hair, with the top down on their Bentley convertibles.
posted by Vibrissae at 12:21 AM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Who would have thought that a measly 4 centuries of colonialism would have consequences?

That's an extremely simplistic view of the situation.
posted by sour cream at 3:10 AM on October 12, 2013

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