//
you're reading...
Europe, Greece, Italy

Fortress Europe

IN THE RADICAL PRESS / IL MANIFESTO

Welcome to the European Union: migrant marine cemeteries and concentration camps 

By Tommaso Di Francesco

You can’t get into Fortress Europe. Less than 24 hours after the shipwreck in the Aegean of a boat of desperate migrants, which saw the deaths of at least sixty people, half of them children, yesterday there was another tragedy at sea off the coast of Italian island of Lampedusa, with many ‘missing’. Both this disaster and for the events in the Greek-Turkish sea involved desperate Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians, Palestinians and Tunisians fleeing poverty and war, including our own wars, ongoing conflicts and inconclusive revolts.

For Italy it is a ‘traditional’ tragedy, for Greece a novelty. There the fierce internal crisis, the draconian dictates of the Troika and the carefully constructed strategy of violence by the xenophobic and neo-Nazi movements, has made anti-immigration policies yet more cruel with massive expulsions and the now common practice of detention camps. With the help of a diligent Turkey which, in an attempt to be befriended by the European Union, has militarized the land border with Greece and the EU at the river Evros.

There is only one route now to escape from despair – to venture into the sea, with precarious means of travel, at the mercy of people smugglers.

All this is happening in surreal harmony with the euphoria of governments, stock exchanges and markets over the decision of the ECB to make unlimited bond purchases to safeguard financial speculation in European Union countries. It ‘s the anti-spread prescription disliked by the Bundesbank. What is certain is that this move is designed to save a system based only on the paper economy (euro and stock exchange transactions).

And, in order to preserve the power of the banks, which are now beyond any democratic norm, there are strict requirements for social exclusion that are hurting our citizens. Beyond the last minute firework display orchestrated by Angela Merkel, this is a a failure of a Europe founded on rights, a victory of markets, to enrich a few and starve the majority (116 million Europeans are at risk of poverty, according the European Commission).

But paying the price now are not only the working class, the unemployed, the young, the powerless in the Old Continent, along with the battered welfare system. Literally dying of this exclusion from the wealth of the few, and this cancellation of the rights of all, are migrants. The new pariahs, the wretched of the earth who are denied every opportunity. The only choice is the daily hovering between life and death.

An immense marine cemetery of thousands and thousands of drowned immigrants spreads out in the Mediterranean and the Aegean. The bitter fruit of a continental barbed wire fence and a string of concentration camps, built, with democratic backing in Europe, stretching from Spain through Gibraltar, passing by Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and onto Turkey, Greece and Slovenia. Forget about the Berlin Wall. Welcome to the European Union: to migrant marine cemeteries and concentration camps. This Western crime, this crime for all to see, is the real incurable spread.

Translation by Revolting Europe

il manifesto September 8, 2012

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

Discussion

One thought on “Fortress Europe

  1. The Med may well prove a graveyard. The insatiable appetite of capital for cheap labour has turned the labour market into a Piranha Pool.. Pious murmurs about racism does not cut it for me. Let us strengthen our borders stop this 21st century slave trade..Robbing other nations of skills, denying them a chance to develop, is not the way forward..Open or porous borders need addressing. The whole subject of free movement of goods, capital and labour needs sober analysis. Who benefits, for a start. Tommaso surely the answer to despair is not to, along with children , jump into a lake.

    Posted by dodge | November 21, 2012, 6:35 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

DATA

Anti-social Europe in numbers

WAGES SLIDE

Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures

RADICAL VOICES

A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

How a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list

SANTA DRAGHI’S COMING

Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB

POPULAR FIGHTBACK

Workers and citizens stand up for themselves

FLORENCE’S BUS LUMACA

Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Popular resistance delivers results

Lessons from the victory against Madrid privatisation plan

FRENCH FACTORY OCCUPATION

Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

International Workers Day

International Workers Day 2012

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be

LABOUR RIGHTS

Workers down tools over PM Monti's attack on labour rights

FORTRESS EUROPE

Concentration camps and a massive migrant marine cemetery

Subjects

EUROPE NEEDS A CITIZENS’ REVOLUTION

Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

The Troika in Portugal – Three Years On

A success story?

THE EURO

The Dossier

FRANCE

GERMANY

GREECE

ITALY

PORTUGAL

SPAIN