Satellites and Saracen Towers


It happens that you ask a question without finding an answer. And when the answer seems obvious that you ignore it. It’s too obvious and therefore not plausible.
The ships that arrive every day at Lampedusa are one of the great mysteries of Italy. Vessels that leave from all the coasts of the Mediterranean. Journeys organized by tour operators for a good few thousand Euro each passenger. The ships are seen directly from the beach.
The tourists give a shout to the Authorities who organise the welcome procedures. Italy has its borders. It’s incredible to say it but borders exist even in the sea. They are called the territorial waters. But they are borders like colanders. Everything gets through. Big boats, cruise ships, rafts to go along the coast.
Once upon a time we were more advanced. We used the Saracen towers to watch the seas.
Now we have got satellites that can focus even on the hole in our backsides. With Google Earth we can read the house number of the houses.
We could photograph and count the clandestines who board in Libya or Morocco and send an SMS to the Port Authorities in Tripoli. But the technology is one of our limits. Beyond binoculars for the beach and the former minister Stanca, we don’t go.
If an Al Qaeda terrorist gets an aero plane they give him life imprisonment. If he comes on a boat he finishes up in a CPT { Centro di Permanenza Temporanea = Centre for Temporary Stay}. However, there would be a solution. After the clandestines have disembarked, normally men in good health around 20 years of age destined to work on the black market for the mafias.
After the ritual welcome to these unfortunates who don’t know what’s waiting for them. After the tam-tam beach-telegraph-Viminale- RaiRadioTelevisioneItaliana- newspapers the next day. After all this it’s possible to take action.
The boat crew will have to go home. Are they illegally within our borders? Have they got no-one left on board? Let’s bomb them. In a few weeks the situation will be resolved on its own.
If for humanitarian reasons they don’t want to use the coastal cannons, it’s possible to use the rubbish. The radioactive stuff that is buried in the South. Two results: we contaminate them and we clean up Italy.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 10:18 AM in | Comments (10)
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Well done Mr Grillo!

You have successfully reinforced the old adage that the fattest pigs squeal the loudest.

Your ignorance on immigration, international humanitarian obligations and the economic benefits/deficits of migration population movement is only surpassed by your banal description of it.

Those people you don’t want on Italian territory are precisely the ones that have been propping up Italy’s pathetic red taped and corrupt economy for the past ten years, performing miracles in factories and doing the jobs Italians can’t do, don’t want to do, or don’t know how to do. A silent group of people that raise your personal standard of living on the sweat of their backs, paying the enormous price of verbal humiliation, physical attacks and racism for the privilege of making you and other fat Italian pigs wealthier.

Posted by: Banjo Patterson | November 24, 2006 02:57 PM

Elizabeth: Skimming that BBC website- I didn't see many words regarding immigration in Italy, so there was nothing for me to comment regarding accuracy. I think that it is entirely possible that the immigrants are the new scapegoats. I've been vocal (in print too, see Le Scienze July 2005, page 5) about my own Italian immigration experiences and it didn't help me very much, with the exception of hearing the occassional sympathetic : 'yeah it sucks doesn't it?'. BTW, Italy is the only western country (that I'm aware) where skilled/educated migrant workers are not distinguished from unskilled/uneducated migrant workers.

Posted by: Amara Graps | November 24, 2006 02:29 PM

There’s a discussion about immigration to Europe on the BBC website under the section “Have Your Say”. How much of what is said in discussions is based on true knowledge? How much is based on prejudice? Are current immigrants, today’s world scapegoats?

Thanks Amara for your thoughts and information.


Posted by: Elizabeth Birks | November 24, 2006 11:23 AM

I very much like Beppe's provocation: you're a star!
Nevertheless this is all about underlying the fact that the bunch of ignorants thieves that run the Bel Paese is systematically turning a blind eye even to this massive problem. I say even because nowdays the terrorist threat should have imposed a way of screening people entering our countries and therefore things like this (at least for the terrorist threat reason) should not happen. Anyone could get on board one of these wrecks and get into the country to plan some terrible terrorist act, couldn't he/she?
I guess this is the way, Mr Grillo and many others, exausted by the constant flow of illigal immigrants, express once again their lack of trust for these bunch of ignorants thieves that run the Bel Paese.
Don't crucify him, understand his way of speech!

PS: Can someone explain Igor that this is supposed to be the e-n-g-l-i-s-h section of the forum!

Posted by: Perfida Albione | November 24, 2006 11:16 AM

Dear Elizabeth, A book I like very much for facts about Italy is: _Italy: Some Facts and Figures_ by Lyndall Passerini Hopkinson printed by Arti Tipografische Toscane, Cortona, Italy. The version I have is dated July 2002. In this book is a full chapter on immigration. I think that the author doesn't give as many references as she should, however, of the references that she does gives, UNHCR is one of them.

What I find interesting, especially given the large quantity of talk about immigration problems in Italy, is that the percentage of immigrants (legal + illegal) is far less in Italy than other EU countries: Italy (1 per 35), France (1 per 15), Germany (1 per 10), for example.

As another on-the-ground data-gathering method, I suggest to spend time at a local police station or at the main Questura in Roma and watch how the police treat the immigrants. You'll find a wide spectrum of immigrants dressed in business suits to immigrants dressed in field clothes, and they are all treated the same: like dirt. I find it understandable if a few feel a little angry about their predicament, and I'm not surprised if more than half of the petty crime is committed by extracommunitari. It's frustration on top of desparation. Given the Bossi-Fini immigration Law and the exponential collapse of the Italian immigration system to try to accomodate the laws, Italy can do alot better to treat the immigrants than it currently does.

Posted by: Amara Graps | November 24, 2006 02:02 AM

Where is it possible to get solid, non-sensationalist information about the situation of refugees coming to Italy?

Google (rifugiati) turned these up:
- L'Associazione Centro Astalli Italian branch of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
- UNHCR website (the country information looks really good)
- Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati (talking about a proposal for a new law about the right to asylum)
- CESTIM - Sito di documentazione sui fenomeni migratori
- Melting Pot (It says the English version is coming soon)
- Il Servizio Rifugiati e Migranti (SRM) - un servizio delle chiese evangeliche

Are these the main sources of information on the topic? – Where else should you go to get relevant information? Are there any sites providing information directly to refugees themselves?



Posted by: Elizabeth Birks | November 23, 2006 11:49 PM

Believe or not,that is what the Australian do to the Indonesians smugglers boat,once cought,they size the boats and burn them,I know it sound harsh,here they do not like people smugglers making money, many times group of people have been left on sandbars in the middle of the ocean by the smugglers to died drowning when the high tide come in,it is a terrible situation,more ,if you have a good life home nobody would live their country,it is terrible sad what is happening in some countrys,and yes we do have lots of responsability for what's is happening

Posted by: evakulnura | November 23, 2006 08:56 PM

I think (and hope) that this post is a provocation.
Nobody, in the industrialized countries can stop the landing of these desperate people, because we are all responsible for their poverty. Our standard of living is so good even because of their exploitation.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | November 23, 2006 07:43 PM

Are you advocating going back to the methods used by Mussolini in Ethiopia? "The 1935-36 Italian fascist invasion and subsequent occupation of Ethiopia were accompanied by numerous atrocities: the use of mustard gas, the bombing of Red Cross hospitals and ambulances, the execution of captured prisoners without trial, the Graziani massacre, the killings at Däbrä Libanos monastery, and the shooting of "witch-doctors" accused of prophesying the end of fascist rule." These are the crimes as reported to the League of Nations, now the U.N.
These refugees are poor and desperate. A Catholic Country like Italy can't turn a cold shoulder to them unless it's willing to throw the New Testament in the garbage can.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | November 23, 2006 06:52 PM

Are you saying that the mafia who is Italian government works with Italian government who works with Italy’s staunch allies who from time to time need the Italian secret service, the Italian state and the junk food media of Italy like the Dracula Rossala, to incite & provoke racism, fear & Islamophobia do not know what they are doing or they know what they are doing?

It is like listening to the Pinocchio of Egypt.

When the ally wants the “usual suspect rounded up” these unfortunate boat people come handy. In discussion with some Calabrese, I was told that as soon as the CPT was vacated, the next day a boat full of “clandestine” would arrive.
And as you pointed out what happens about the borders? Good question? Irak, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Arabia are all independent states why is EU interfering in these countries and propping up dictators that the locals have to escape from? Why are their resources stolen by Italian Petrol, AGIP…
Or do you think that Sig. Grillo SHOULD have all the comforts and the “clandestine” can F.. Off?

You might find that the person "fregato" has other ideas!
Beside Sig. Grillo think how much money is being made by those who run the CPT. In Bologna they drugged the “inmates” and the ambulances make many trips to this centers because of “broken bones” etc.
How many centers are run by families of MPs, clergy….

You are shooting the messenger, Bello!

Posted by: Marcia Visanji | November 23, 2006 04:57 PM

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