Italians Feel Left Alone by Europe in Front of Migration Problem – Journo
The Italian government has adopted a decree that will allow expelling migrants found guilty of serious crimes such as rape and assault. Migrants accused of drug dealing will have their applications denied. The decree needs the approval of the Parliament. Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said it’s “a step forward to make Italy safer.”
Sputnik discussed the Italian government’s measures to curb migration with Fulvio Scaglione, an independent Italian journalist and writer.
Sputnik: Can you tell us more about this decree on migrants, what exactly does this entail?
Fulvio Scaglione: You know the general preoccupation by the government is to put the brake on illegal migration to Italy. The real problem is not migration itself. The real problem, and I’m talking about Italy and Italian public opinion, is the feeling that many, many Italians have that Italy has been left alone by Europe in front of the migration problem, especially in the past few years; the former government, the center-left government, already took some measures to restrain migration, but the new government, the League and the Five Star [Movement], is doing much more and public opinion is following the lead, they like it.
Sputnik: And what do you think, will it be upheld by the Parliament?
Fulvio Scaglione: I think it’s quite probable, but in the process something will be changed I think in the decree. It’s quite obvious that President Mattarella (pictured) is not very convinced about the decree and that there are many objections from a constitutional point of view, but in the core the decree will pass the parliamentary exam.
Sputnik: Can you elaborate more on the ways in which this might not coincide with Italy’s constitution?
Fulvio Scaglione: One of the problems is the idea to strip the citizenship from migrants who commit some crime or any penal offense; there are those who say it’s not possible to strip the citizenship because especially it’s not called for in the constitution to take away citizenship from foreigners only. They say if you commit a grave crime and you lose your citizenship, this should be done to Italians, too, but it’s not possible, that’s the main question.
Sputnik: But what happens when physically somebody committed a crime and they’ve been stripped of their citizenship. What do you do with that person then? Where do they go? You can’t put them in prison, what do you do with that person?
Fulvio Scaglione: They will be put in special centers to a maximum of 180 days and they should be sent back to their countries of origin, but this is another part that’s under strong objection because it’s not so easy to repatriate migrants; many, many times you don’t even know who they really are, so countries of origin, many, many kinds, don’t want them back, so this is another contentious issue of the decree.
Sputnik: What’s the public opinion on this?
Fulvio Scaglione: The Italian public opinion strongly supports the decree and especially the idea that Salvini says in Italy that we should stop migration. Salvini very often, every day, says Italians first, it’s like Trump-wise we should say, Italians first and the Italians like it.
I think that this is very much to do with that idea that not the migrants are terrorists or criminals because we know that there are very, very few terrorists in migrant ships, but I think it has much to do with the idea that we Italians have been left alone by the rest of Europe. And when you see that a ship with 50 something migrants cannot dock in French ports and France is almost every day saying that Italy should take the migrants and so the bad feeling in the Italian public opinion grows and grows.
Sputnik: Do you think that this decree would even solve the problem of migration? Yes, Italy has been left alone and they may have the migration problem, which is inherent as a country that has a particular geographical location, and probably some things should be done within the framework of the European Union, is there any push to try and resolve this through the various channels that are open to Italy as a member of the EU?
Fulvio Scaglione: Yes, it’s quite obvious that the decree will not solve the problem of migration; the great mistake many people in Italy make is to think that migration is an emergency — it’s not an emergency, it is the way the world is going today, and it will go that way for many, many years.
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Featured image: © AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti