Al-Ahed Telegram
Sayyed Nasrallah Presents Hezbollah’s Electoral Program: Fighting Corruption, Protecting Lebanon on Top «Israel» Officially Admits Striking «Syrian Nuclear Reactor» in 2007 At Least 29 Martyred near Shrine in Afghan Capital US Admits Missile Defenses Powerless in Face of Russian Hypersonic Weapons Britain and the US Must Stop Fueling the Bloody Saudi War on Yemen Rights Group: 2017 Was The Worst Year in Gaza’s History France Faces Legal Risks For Saudi, Emirate Arms Sales Ex-Abu Ghraib Detainees Recall Torture at US Hands FM Zarif Slams Trump’s ’Absurd Insults’ Against Iranian Gov’t Texas Bombing: Suspect in Austin Blasts Believed to Be Neutralized Sayyed #Nasrallah: President #Aoun has the right to call for talks over a national defense strategy and we do not have any reservations over this call Sayyed #Nasrallah: I will personally follow up on the issue of combating corruption, because we are entering a dangerous period Sayyed #Nasrallah: #Hezbollah will form a special unit tasked with confronting corruption and the waste of public money Sayyed #Nasrallah: We will take the necessary steps to address the electricity problem Sayyed #Nasrallah calls for a complete the compensation of the 2006 July aggression and the adoption of a general amnesty law, taking into account the regulations that determine who deserves amnesty Sayyed #Nasrallah: A large part of the #Syrian land has become safe and the existence of the Syrian refugees in #Lebanon is a great burden on them and on Lebanon Sayyed #Nasrallah: My message to the allies and friends is humility, compromise and understanding. Conflict is a prelude to failure Sayyed #Nasrallah: The judicial system must be developed so that the judiciary becomes an independent authority Sayyed #Nasrallah: We will work to provide the necessary capabilities to strengthen the security and military institutions, particularly the #Lebanese Army Sayyed #Nasrallah: We will work on achieving political and administrative reform in the state institutions
Guestbook mailinglist.php arabic site french site spanish site facebook twitter rss page
News Categories » NEWS » Europe » Italy

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size  Print Page
Anti-Immigration Sentiments Spread Across Italy Ahead of Elections
Local Editor

Italian elections are scheduled for March 4, 2018, with the anti-establishment Democratic Party, the center-right Forza Italia and the Five Star Movement (M5S) contending to form the next government.

African migrants

Immigration has become a pressing issue among many members of the European Union (EU), and Italy is no exception, with the upcoming elections reinforcing the need to address the matter.

While Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is banned from running for office after being convicted of tax fraud, his party, Forza Italia, has entered a coalition with the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy in the elections, which could provide him a seat at the table.

Berlusconi, for whom the elections might signify a tremendous political comeback, has drawn public attention to the problem of the huge migration influx into the country, calling it a "social bomb ready to explode in Italy."

"Immigration has become an urgent question, because after years with a left-wing government, there are 600,000 migrants who don't have the right to stay," said Berlusconi, pledging to deport illegal migrants. "We consider it to be an absolute priority to regain control over the situation."

The M5S, a party which represents the spirit of protest against Italy's political establishment, has supported Berlusconi's stance, with its leader Luigi Di Maio calling for deportations and putting "Italians First."

The nearer the election gets, the tougher the rhetoric becomes, although some officials believe, namely Salvatore Martello, the mayor of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, a hotspot for migrant arrivals, that these are mere words.

"When election time comes around, no one comes to Lampedusa," he said, referring to the candidates. "We're not afraid of immigrants as such, and by now arrivals are slowing down. Nevertheless, the frontrunners seem to find it inconvenient to come here during the campaign."

Ilvo Diamanti, a professor of political science at the University of Urbino, has explained the reason for the rise of anti-immigrant sentiments.

"The closer we get to an election, the more these feelings grow. I've seen this trend during last elections, and I note it now: public anxiety about immigration is rising to record-high levels. Almost one in two Italians feel afraid. Italian voters are concerned about jobs and unemployment first of all. But when it comes to the public sphere, immigration concerns are easier to be capitalized upon by populists. This is a short-term winning strategy."

Earlier this month, 28-year-old Luca Traini, who appeared to be an unsuccessful candidate in a local election from the anti-immigration Northern League party, was arrested for ostensibly targeting migrants in a drive-by shooting in the city of Macerata in central Italy. The incident left six people of African origin wounded.

While being interrogated by the police, Traini reportedly claimed that the shooting was a response to the murder of an 18-year-old Italian girl, whose dismembered remains had been discovered in two suitcases a week before the incident. The police detained a Nigerian man after they found several pieces of evidence, including the teenager's bloody clothes and a receipt from a pharmacy in the suspect's house.

According to The Express, the latest figures show that the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy doubled in a month to reach 4,800 in January.

Over 600,000 people have reached Italy by boat since 2013, boosting support for nationalist groups in the country. After the European Union reached an agreement with Turkey in 2016 to halt migrants arriving in the Greek islands in the Mediterranean, Italy once again opened its "Gates of Europe"; the Italian island of Lampedusa has been a major European entry point for migrants from Africa since refugees from war-torn Libya tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy's shore.

Thousands of migrants from North Africa have died trying to enter the European Union through the notorious island of Lampedusa; the route from Libya to Italy is regarded as the deadliest of migrant paths.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

19-02-2018 | 11:50

Comment Title
Human Verification

News Coverage

Related News

To Top