liberal facade behind Europe's grand refugee acceptance experiment
took a big hit on Friday, when Italy's Former Prime Minister Matteo
Renzi, and head of the ruling Democratic Party, said
his country does not have "any
moral duty to take in migrants", sharply
toughening his stance over surging numbers of asylum seekers.
His U-Turn follows that of Angela Merkel, who infamously accepted
nearly 1 million mostly Syrian refugees in 2015, only to see a surge
in terrorist attacks across Germany and Europe, and a plunge in her
popularity as a result of an angry social backlash, prompting her to
quietly but forcefully end Germany's "open door" policy.
it's Italy turn.
week we discussed that
with refugees arrivals in Italy up 20% over the same period last
year, Rome threatened to close its ports to privately-funded aid
boats - many of which are rumored to belong to Soros-linked
organizations, or insist that funding be cut to EU countries which
fail to help. Italy's interior minister Marco Minniti was angry:
"They are sailing under the flags of various European countries.
If the only ports where refugees are taken to are Italian, something
is not working. This is the heart of the question."
can see why Italy may be angry: with the Balkan corridor closed,
Italy has emerged as the only port of entry into Europe. More than
600,000 migrants have reached Italy over the past four years, the
vast majority arriving by boat from Libya. About 85,000 have come
ashore this year alone, accounting for the vast majority of European
Just like in Germany two years ago, the popular reaction is one of
growing anger - especially since migrants don't get to vote. However,
the question has emerged: how does a "moral", liberal
Europe square up to what is a growing undercurrent of resentment
toward migrants, something traditionally associated with various
loathed (by the establishment) populist parties? After all, if the
same establishment admitted that what the "populists" offer
is the right course of action, then a political crisis would ensue.
did not stop Italy's former PM Matteo Renzi from saying that "we
need to free ourselves from a sense of guilt. We do not have the
moral duty to welcome into Italy people who are worse off than
Democratic Party leader wrote in new book, excerpts of which were
released ahead of publication on the PD website.
has to be a fixed number of arrivals," he
said, adding that Italy should help migrants in their home countries,
and sounding suspiciously close like Italy's anti-immigrant parties.
enough, underscoring the sensitivity of the issue - and just how
hypocritical Europe's liberal crown is - Renzi's
comments were swiftly removed from the website, but not before they
had generated a backlash among some PD supporters, and glee in the
the biggest winner from Renzi's unexpected moments of honesty, was
Matteo Salvini, leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League party,
who posted the deleted text on his own Twitter account. "Thanks
for all the work. We will take it," Salvini wrote. "They
(the PD) chatter and get embarrassed about it, while we can't wait to
actually do it."
Italy has found itself boxed in, with Brussels refusing to change its
migrant policies even as rising popular anger means growing support
for anti-establishment parties.
upsurge in new arrivals, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, has
unsettled the Italian government, which has urged greater help from
European allies in resettling the refugees. Its requests have
fallen largely on deaf ears and
Renzi warned on Friday that Rome would look to curb funding to EU
nations that had refused to offer help.
are shutting their doors. We will block their funds," he said,
sounding suspiciously like Turkey's Erdogan who has so far prevented
a new refugee crisis in Europe by gating some 2 million migrants
inside Turkey's borders.
matters worse, Italy's migrant crisis is pushing the balance of power
away from establishment parties: last
month, Renzi's PD party fared badly in local elections, losing
control of 30 municipalities, including the traditional leftist
stronghold of Genoa in northern Italy, with the migrant crisis
increasingly weighing on the government.
adding insult and injury
to hypocrisy, Former European Commissioner for humanitarian affairs,
Emma Bonino, caused embarrassment in PD ranks this week when
she said that Renzi's government had requested in 2014 that all the
migrants leaving Libya be brought to Italy. "At
the beginning, we didn't realize that this was a structural problem
and not a passing phase. We shot ourselves in the foot," said
Bonino, a former Italian foreign minister. Ops.
of course denied her assertion on Friday, but said that in future,
Italy should do more to encourage migrants to stay at home and
develop their own economies.
need to escape from our 'do gooder' mentality,"
which we can only add that we are almost amazed at the speed with
which Renzi, Merkel, and so much of Europe's "do gooder"
liberal elite flipped its outlook on the idealistic act of
who are worse off than ourselves" the
second said act starting having negative consequences on Renzi,
Merkel and Europe's "do gooder" liberal slite. We would
almost call this reversal glaringly hypocritical, but we are
confident readers can make up their own minds.