2 January 2017
GEFIRA — The rule of law is often invoked as a Western value that “populist” movements want to destroy, yet the establishment’s own governments have long suspended that very same rule of law when it comes to immigration. The most evident example of this is the immigration policy started by the Italian Letta government in 2013 and continued since then under the Renzi government.
In October 2013, the Letta government, facing waves of refugees escaping the chaos of Western backed-Arab Spring in Libya, which later transpired as nothing more than insurgencies of Islamic radical groups, launched the operation “Mare Nostrum” or “Our Sea”, which consisted in the use of the Italian navy near Libyan waters to rescue asylum seekers from the African coast.
As noble as its motivation may be, a side effect of the operation was to encourage even more people to undertake sea travel because now they are certain that the Italian navy will rescue them. The result was a 224% increase in the number of boats leaving Libya, which translates into an average of almost 10 million euro a month for the Italian government1).
In November 2014 Mare Nostrum was replaced with the EU-coordinated and funded Triton, covering a smaller part of the Mediterranean at the cost of 3 million euro a month. The official reason for the Triton operation is to control borders, however once we look at facts the goal of the operation is simply to bring in as many people as possible, regardless of whether they are refugees, economic migrants, legals or illegals. Since then, smuggling channels instead of being stopped have multiplied. […]