All 8 entries tagged Italy

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April 03, 2011

Milan–Inter 3–0: when it matters…

Milan’s derby is the most important match in the season, regardless of the table and the stake. But yesterday’s was the first one in a generation with an Italian title at stake, with Inter behind Milan by only 2 points. In fact the only derbies I remember with an important stake were in Champions League, the semifinals 2003 and quarterfinals 2005, both obviously won by Milan - as again yesterday. In Milan, a productive, non-nonsense city, you can tell who is best when it really matters. Milan literally dominated the match from the first minute (Pato’s goal) to the last (Cassano’s goal). Inter, on paper the Italian, European and World’s champions in charge, were lost in the fog and their ugly version of football was obscured by Milan’s spectacular lights.

Both teams express the nature of the city, the only cosmopolitan one in Italy. Milan has an English name, from its founders, and Inter stands for Internazionale – an appropriate name given that hardly any Italian has played for them recently. Both teams were forced to change their unpatriotic names under fascism, respectively to Italian “Milano” and to “Ambrosiana” (from Milan’s own version of the Catholic Chruch). Inter was the team of the Church, and the only one allowed to win under Fascism, together with Roma and the royal family’s Juventus. It’s a matter of pride for Milan not to have won titles in that period. Milan was the bourgeoisie’s team, but after the war it was embraced by the masses of immigrants from the South, especially Sicily: I have inherited Milan’s faith from my mother side. As a result of demographic change it became a much more popular team, and in the 1970s and 1980s this was also reflected in a political divide, with Milan’s “ultras” of the South End waving Che Guevara flags and Inter’s preferring neofascist symbols on their North End. Red and black are by far more popular than black-and-blue. The downside of popular support, however, is to be easy prey of populist politics...

Milanese supporters (especially Milan’s – Inter’s are more pragmatic and prefer German players to Dutch and Brazilian ones) have a unique taste for the technical, stylistic act, the opposite of the attitude of British fans. The best personification of Milanese styles were Rivera and Van Basten, players who would often choose form over substance, and a more difficult way to score a goal as long as it was more beautiful.

Art is even endorsed by the fans. Milanese fans, who years ago had won an award for a reproduction of Munch’s scream to mock Inter fans despair, yesterday produced a reproduction of that most famous piece of Milanese painting, Leonardo’s Last Supper, where Judah was the only back and blue figure in a red-and-black, in reference to another Leonardo, who after being a Milanese hero has just ‘defected’ to the other side. The paradox is that Leonardo, both as player and manager’ was an excellent personification of the classy Milanese spirit, and that he left Milan in protest against Berlusconi’s style.

Leonardo

It was nice to see the San Siro stadium (aka La Scala del Calcio) so full and ‘warm’ again, as it always was in the 1980s and 1990s, even when Milan played in the second league. However, in recent times it is mostly half-empty, killed by TV football, ultras’ sectarian violence and excessive rotation of players. Football is a team sport and changing five players every six months kills its nature. Fortunately Milan still has its good ‘old guard’ (Seedorf and Nesta were impressive again yesterday), but the majority of players have a job tenure of a year of two. Which, as an employment policy, is always bad, whether by football clubs aiming to win sponsors at all cost, or university departments aiming to maximise REF results – at the cost of everybody else.


March 18, 2011

Auguri Italia – despite all

Italy celebrated its 150th birthday yesterday, and I am in Modena, 10 minutes away from Reggio, where the tricolore flag was created. As a student, I saw waving the Italian flag as an act of fascism. It was just acceptable only for sport events, but even for that it is no more now – with Italy fans regularly singing fascist songs and chanting racist abuse at the first black Italy’s player, Balotelli (and the only good player Italy has right now by the way).

Auguri Italia

Still, today I wore a five colour (three Italian colours plus two European ones) coccarda. As long as we remember the many dark days of Italian history (colonial policy towards the South; repression of German and Slovenian speakers; imperialist, mass murdering colonialism in Africa; and most of all fascism, Nazi alliance and anti-semitism), there is no reason why not to celebrate Risorgimento, which inspired peoples’ freedom from Poland to Latin America. With all its evident limits, and despite the legitimate nostalgia Milanese may have for aspects of Austrian rule, there is no doubt that the Italian state was better than what was there before. And today to oppose Italy’s celebrations are just the racists of the Northern League...

In Modena we are also remembering a very sad day of Italian history, the ninth anniversary of the assassination of Marco Biagi, industrial relations expert, by the Red Brigades in 2002. He was not the first colleague to meet this fate: Tarantelli and D’Antona were killed before him, many others were injured and threatened. Many of the victims also suffered abuse, first from the extreme Left, then by the government (Biagi was called a ‘ball-breakers’ by Interior Minister Scajola). Some colleagues, still today, are not free to go out without police escort. Labour relations is inherently controversial (and yesterday some young Italians told me my speech was ‘courageous’ as they would not be allowed to express that degree of criticism at the current government) – but if we do not fully respect difference of opinions, there is no point in it: terrorism is the denial of democracy, including industrial democracy. As somebody who cycles to work every day, I also love the logo of the Biagi Foundation (Biagi was shot while cycling home from work).Biagi Foundation

Finally, yesterday I was also on strike, to defend our pensions – and especially the pensions of our younger and future colleagues.


January 18, 2011

Wind from the Sahara? Tragic declines on both shores of the Med

Tunisia and Sicily are less than 100 miles apart, and the Italian islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa are even nearer the Tunisian shores. As a child in Sicily, I remember that when the wind blew from the South, pink sand would accumulate at my granny's windows: not from the beach, but from the Sahara. Today, Tunisians make a large part of the Sicilian workforce in jobs Italians don't want to do anymore, starting from fishing; while Italians make the lion's share of tourists in Tunisia. The former prime minister Bettino Craxi, Italy's "strong man" in the illusory economic boom of the 1980s (when Italy seemed to overtake Britain as 5th world's economy), died in exile in Tunisia after having been overthrown by the corruption scandals of the early 1990s.

Over the last few days we have seen parallel developments on both shores of the Sicily channels. Two old corrupt rulers in a tragic decline reaching their tragic end. Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali had been in power for 23 years. I have never been to Tunisia myself but I met scores of Tunisians in Italy and France, and I was intrigued by the fact that all, whether students or just waiters of fishermen, expressed a total despise for Ben Ali: this was for me intriguing, because the other leaders of North Africa (Bouteflika, Ghaddafi, Mubarak, and to a lesser extent even Mohammed VI, who at least is handsome), while no more democractic than Ben Ali, had at least managed to develop some reverence in a part of the population. Ben Ali's regime was just based, apparently, on corruption and police control. And foreign support: France, USA, Italy. Now, we have witnessed the first revolution ever against an Arab government. The demography and economic crisis of Tunisia is not much different from that of Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan: the trembling may propagate very easily, exactly at the time when in another Arab country, Lebanon, major rehearsals of civil strife are being prepared.

One detail may explain why this first revolution has taken place right now. Over the last two years the migration controls across the Mediterranean have been tightened in a ruthless way (as shown in the documentary "South of Lampedusa"), displacing migration routes from Sicily to the Greek-Turkey border. Emigration was a major valve for discontent in North Africa: once this has been tightened up, it had to explode. Now, the Italian Right, which supported Ben Ali, is screaming at the danger of waves of refugees...

On the North side of the Channel there is an equally despised ruler, who however has managed to create a social-cultural supporting bloc. His troubles with under-age girls, to which we had sadly become used to, have reached new depths over the week-end with new revelations and allegations, and now the old dirty man is locked in his residence in the same way as Ben Ali was in his last days in Tunis last week. The Vatican is finding it more and more difficult to keep supporting him, and so the more international part of the otherwise provincial Italian bourgeoisie. He has been, on and off, in power for 17 years. A long time which will leave a mark, for instance in the 10% of the Italian surface which has been opened up to developers' speculation...

If you are not yet convinced of the similarities between Tunisia and Italy, look at this video (if you understand French or the Italian subtitles): Berlusconi, appearing at his personally-owned private Tunisian TV Nessma (watached in the whole Maghreb region) in the Summer 2009. The purest expression of mediatic power of the same person and his culture (football, women, jokes) on both sides of the Med. With one astonishing detail: while within Italy he pretends to be tough on immigration, to his Maghreb audience he claims to warmheartedly welcome all Tunisians who want to come to Italy and even promises to all of them jobs, houses, education and health care (the relevant point is at 3'59" of the second part). I wonder if Tunisians could be as stupid as the Italians who believe him.

Last year, African immigrants revolted against the mafia in Calabria, a job Italians very rarely do; now it is the Tunisians' round, to set the example by overthrowing their corrupt ruler. Can the wind from the South blow again?


December 29, 2010

The Christmas agreement at Fiat: A Very Big Trojan Horse

Follow-up to Polacchizzati? On Fiat & globalisation from Around Europe 2010-12

Christmas should be holiday time, and possibly inspire some peace. Not so at Fiat Mirafiori in Turin (a factory built by Mussolini and Agnelli to be the largest in the world), where the separate 'Christmas agreement' signed by Fim-Cisl and Uilm-Uil is the biggest disruption yet to post-war Italian industrial relations.

As I had written in my blog "Polacchizzati", and more extensively in academic papers, Fiat is using with an unprecedented consistency the threat of "coercive comparisons" amongst all its locations to achieve not just some wage concessions (we are used to that), but a strategic advantage through a radical change of the rules of the game. Specifically, Fiat's comparisons tend to be with Poland, and Polish factories are used as something I had called myself Trojan Horse for the Americanization of Europe (in the small industrial relations circles I am occasionally referred to as somebody who invented the Trojan Horse, but I must say somebody else had - a long time ago).

This is particularly true for Fiat as its CEO Marchionne, an Italo-American manager, is using the threats to implement an American style of industrial relations. The core of the dispute, to put it simply, is the exit of Fiat from all national and sector-level agreements, and the implementation of its own representation rules whereby only unions that sign company agreements have representation rights. The largest union, Fiom-Cgil, having not signed, would suddenly disappear from the company. Even in the bleakest cold-war times of anti-unionism and Cgil marginalisation, in the 1950s, the Fiom had its representation within the Commissione Interna (works council). Now it would not.

Important lawyers such as Pietro Ichino repeat that this is perfectly legal in Italy, consistent with the Italian constitution, and the Statute of Worker Rights of 1970 (the Italian equivalent of the German Betriebsverfassung, workplace constitution) as modified by a referendum in 1995. Unlike in France, multi-employer collective agreements in Italy have no erga-omnes validity, except for minimum wages, so Fiat is free to opt out from the 1993 national agreement that reformed employee representation through the creation of works councils called RSU. And after the law was modified by a referendum in 1995, workplace union rights are only for the unions that signed agreements - regardless of their representativity.

While this interpretation may be technically correct, it appears to me that excluding the largest union from recognition is against the spirit, if not the letter, of the Italian constitution of 1948, strongly rooted in the principle of democracy: at the time it was self-evident that unions signing any collective agreements would include the largest and most representative unions - otherwise, even fascist-era agreements, in Ichino's thought, should be considered as 'constitutional'... Moreover, the exclusion also goes against the often-forgotten European Directive on the Information and Consultation of Employees of 2001: something Italy initially even neglected to transpose, believing that Italian rules were already sufficient.... but we now see that it was enough for an outsider to arrive to disrupt all the Italian rules. The Trojan Horse has entred the constitutional walls of Italian industrial relations.

In theory a reformist solution is possible: new legal regulations to face the changed situation. France, against the odds, recently changed its regulations and introduced a principle of representativeness. In Germany, a country whose industrial relations in the 1990s and 2000s were seen as unstoppably eroding, I have recently witnessed a number of 'fixes', from the joint attempt of the employer association and the largest union confederation DGB to defend Tarifeinheit (bargaining unity) through a criterion of representativeness, to the introduction of legal minimum wages and the limitation of Ohne-Tarif, i.e. company opt-out from national agreements. American-style disruption does not suit well European societies, as even French and German employers have admitted. Will also Italy find a fix, defending representativeness as a core democratic principle? Or will industrial relations erosion symbolyse a broader erosion of Italian democracy? Interesting times ahead.

(PS: I have returned safely from Berlin, but not before being stuck overnight in Paris by the after-effects of the snow disruptions. Air France put me in a hotel in Disneyland, a place I had sworn never to put my feet in. Merde, why not on the Champs Elisées?)


December 15, 2010

Surprise surprise, the winner is… Silvio Berlusconi!!!! Allegria!!!!

Allegria!!! and "the winner is" are the unfogettable exclamations of Mike Bongiorno, a popular TV anchorman who paved the road to Berlusconi and, in a way, was his prophet.

Italy is in a state of chaos and riots, inside and outside Parliament, but the situation is I think quite clear.

First clear lesson: I do hope this is the end of the myth of Fini as a great politician and tactician. Let’s remember his story. He became leader of the fascist MSI by co-optation from above, selected and nominated by the old man of Italian neofascism Almirante (co-organiser of the deportation of the Jews under the Repubblica di Saló) who (him, not Fini) had understood the MSI needed, to grow, a leader who was not biographically associated to historical fascism. He was even struggling to keep the leadership of that little party (he was ousted for a while in 1989-90) when, suddenly and by pure chance, he was nearly elected mayor of Rome in 1993 – but only because all conservative and centrist parties had dissolved in the corruption scandals; in other words, he conquered dominance of the centre-right only because of the absence of competition (football similitude: Inter’s titles in 2006-08). In the new role, he overnight rejected fascism and embraced democracy (just like changing socks) and entered a joint venture with Berlusconi: Gianfranco had the party structure and political expertise, Silvio had the cash. In 1995 and 1996, he had two opportunities to get rid of Berlusconi, who was defeated, disillusioned, ill, and had more than one foot in jail; but he wasted his opportunities and he spent the following 14 years in bitterness (think Gordon Brown), waiting for a new chance. When this emerged last summer, his lack of intelligence led to five months of byzantine tactics and the catastrophic failure to make his sums in yesterday’s vote. The vote was a surprise only to him (for once, I had predicted right in the blog of the 30th of July): turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

The opposition’s PD and Fini himself are now in a state of denial, pretending Berlusconi did not win, because his majority is of just three votes. Well, the PD did not say this when it was Prodi, in 2006-08, to have a majority of three; and even outside of Italy, there are plenty of governments with paper-thin majorities: Major 1992-97, Kohl 1994-98, most recent Spanish governments… and it is more than likely that some more turkeys will go back to Silvio’s hen house, boosting his majority to more confortable levels.

One note on the most distressing turkey, whose surprise vote for Silvio caused a riot in the Chamber: Catia Polidori. Her family business is CEPU, a large private university-tuition company that in other countries would be called plagiarism wholesale, an e-bay for essays and dissertations (its testimonials are football stars, with the implicit message: if they can get degrees with CEPU, anybody can). Berlusconi's government allowed CEPU to create an open university (e-campus), entitled to sell legal degrees. And she awarded Berlusconi her vote of confidence - how lovely. By the way, just like Berlusconism is not much different from Murdochism, CEPU is not much different from the university plans of the new UK government (and of some vice-chancellors). And Berlusconism as a regime is much more than his person, meaning that even if he died tomorrow, we are not guaranteed anything better.

All this leaves the most depressing conclusion on the state of the Partito Democratico, Italian’s so-called opposition. It spent five months sitting in the salivating adoration of saviour Fini, instead of doing any politics. It was not even awaken by the fact that in near-all local primary elections for the selection of mayoral candidates, the party nominees were defeated by independents (last in Milan). In the meanwhile, the absence from Parliament of any leftwing party (for the first time since 1946), and the Left's lack of at least a ‘right of tribune’, means that radical opposition takes the form of street riots…


July 30, 2010

Birthday presents: water, Fini and beer

3 presents in the news for today's birthday.

First, the UN General Assembly approved the Bolivian motion to declare access to drinking water a human right (in 1948 they were not so thirsty and didn't think about it). 122 countries voted Yes; let's name and shame the 41 countries that did not (from the UN website):

USA;

From the EU (18/27): Austria; Bulgaria; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Greece; Ireland; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta, Netherlands; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; Sweden; UK;

Others: Armenia; Australia; Bosnia; Botswana; Canada; Croatia; Ethiopia; Guyana; Iceland; Israel [and then what, water for Gaza? you must be joking]; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Lesotho; New Zealand; South Korea; Moldova; Trinidad&Tobago; Turkey; Ukraine; Tanzania; Zambia.

Easy to notice: they closely correspond to the 'coalition of the willing', those who care about oil rather than water.

Second, the Italian government, technically, no longer controls a majority in the two chambers (but don't get too excited: it is unlikely it will fall), following the expulsion of Fini's group from the Popolo delle Libertà's party. This present has a bitter aftertaste for somebody born anti-fascist, as it comes as courtesy of post-fascist Gianfranco Fini (speaker of the lower chamber). I have long rejected the idea that one can honestly jump the ideological divide between fascism and democracy overnight as Fini did in the Autumn 1993, when a new election system and the Mani Pulite crisis unexpectedly opened to him the opportunity to become mayor of Rome (narrowly missed - but taken by his camerata Alemanno 15 years later) and to enter the government (taken, con gusto). I also consider him an old-school 'professional politician': he can communicate, he knows the rules (and how to play with them), but he is no specialist of anything. Actually, he is completly ignorant. At least, Berlusconi knows something about business and trash - Fini not even that. On the economy, I remember him not understanding the basic question of whether higher interest rates may damage the economy. On international affairs, I can't forget his performance on live tv on the evening of the 12th November 1998, when the news broke that Öcalan had landed in Rome and requested asylum: Fini had no clue who Öcalan was. A few years later, he was foreign minister, and admittedly even quite a good one: knowledge in politics is clearly redundant. I only started to somehow forgive him when seeing him on a visit to Warsaw and Auschwitz in February 1999: he looked genuinly embarrassed by the primitive bigotry he had to listen to from his hosts, the (then in government) Polish Catholic nationalists of the ZChN, and looked clearly more democratic then them. So, the jury is still out on who actually Fini is.Budweiser

Third present: the European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU trademark Budweiser does not belong to the dull American imitation, made by multinational Anheuser-Busch in-Bev, but to the real thing, the divine pils still made by a rare (for long?) state-owned company, Budějovický Budvar from České Budějovice (pretty baroque little town, and the first place in Czechoslovakia where I got off the train back in 1990: you never forget your first Czech beer). So this is the drink to celebrate with today, and start holidays tomorrow: na zdraví!


July 28, 2010

Polacchizzati? On Fiat & globalisation

m8185050c.jpgToday's Gazeta Wyborcza (left) opens with a new Italian word, which I did not know yet myself: Polacchizzati, or Polonized, or zpolonizowani. It's an article about the ongoing protests in Italy against Fiat's threats to transfer production to Poland [background: Fiat made investment in the Italian plant, and apparently its survival, conditional on accepting a much worse working time regime, plus a sort of "no-strike" agreement; in a referendum, 63% of employees accepted this "deal", labelled as blackmail by the FIOM-CGIL union - but FIAT expected and wanted near-unanimity]. The Polish journalist, after describing with some amusement Italians' attachment to siesta, collects the voices of Italian workers in the Southern Italian plant of Pomigliano condemning Polonization as imposition of not just ever worsening working conditions, but also a mentality of self-exploitation: "why you Poles want to work that hard? what's wrong with you?". Which may remind of English voices such as "those fucking Poles, all coming over here, with their fucking work ethic", but has a point - as many Polish commentators on Wyborcza's website admit.

20100723primapagina.gifMedia love turning issues of global work restructuring into national jokes - last year's strike at Lindsley refinery "against the Italians" was a spectacular case I described in a union magazine( iur.pdf). Maybe this is a good thing: at least issues are raised and noticed, even if in a distorted way. Mainstream media are unlikely to put collective bargaining, restructuring plans, working time systems or supply chains in the main news - or they would condemn themselves to audiences as narrows as this blog's. But things are always much more complicated. I can't resist the temptation of moaning 'I had said it...'. My thesis comparing Italian and Polish Fiat factories in 1999 (and later book) and pointing that Poland was not the cheap crap place Italians imagined, but a laboratory for the future, and that Italian and Polish unions should start speak to each other, was read by about five people and - also because in the meanwhile I was sent to Coventry - I did not manage to disseminate much to it to the people concerned.

I stopped following Fiat time ago - I tried, with some colleagues and friends such as Valeria Pulignano, to suggest a book on Fiat and globalisation in 2004, but all Italian publishers I contacted were sure that nobody, ever, would be interested in reading about Fiat's foreign factories - how foreward-looking from them. So I can't say much about the recent developments, but I have two impressions. First, what's happening at Fiat is a massive speed change in the aggressive use of relocation threats that multinational companies have been making for about two decades (Hoover swapping France for Scotland in 1993 is usually mentioned as the first case). This is the first case where 'coercive comparisons' have become 'total': everybody against everybody, at all times, in all directions. Southern Italy against Poland, Poland against Turkey, Northern Italy against Serbia... Only last year the Polish workers of Bielsko-Biala were still being threatened with relocations to Italy, unless they accepted different working time arrangements - no interest from Italy then. A permanent 'liquidity' of employment relations is imposed, whereby there are no guarantees and offers are made and withdrawn "a capriccio". Second, in no major car company is international union response as weak as in Fiat, which is therefore free to direct the dances at its own will: Fiat's European Works Council is said to be made inoperational by internal conflicts amongst Italian trade unions, and to an extent amongst Polish trade unions. Marchionne (FIAT's CEO) must have fun, sitting and watching the unions fight each other to exhaustion.

And Marchionne himself is often in the front pages, with his famous sweaters even in the middle of the Italian summer. In last Friday's Il Manifesto, in relation to relocations from Turin to Kragujevac, he is turned into another national stereotype, il cecchino Sergio (the Sergio sniper, playing on words with il cecchino serbo, the Serbian sniper).

So if this is the only game in town I'll add my contribution: isn't Sergio Marchionne (who spent most of his life in Northern America) just a typical yankee, as demonstrated by the fact that he didn't even let workers watch the football (soccer) World Cup?

PS: In its own way, the "Polacchizzati" article was still an enjoyable piece of journalism. Two days later Gazeta Wyborcza (the former Solidarity daily paper, still the best East of Berlin, and amongst the best in the world, for both journalism and commentary) reached much lower standards with a reportage on the Polish Fiat workers in Tychy. This was mostly based on the story of a happy family where both mum and dad work for Fiat and are ever so grateful to their magnanimous employer, who has made all their dreams true. Its style would have fit well in 1970s' Trybuna Ludu (the official organ of the United Polish Worker Party), when Tychy workers were reported to be equally grateful for their opportunity to contribute to the radiant communist dream.


July 07, 2010

A Sud di Lampedusa (Italy 2006)

Movie image
Title:
A Sud di Lampedusa
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

This blog is about Europe but Europe does not exist in a vacuum and it can be seen from different external angles - for instance, from the South. Yesterday's projection of "A Sud di Lampedusa" at Coventry University (organised by mafia expert Rino Coluccello) was a welcome opportunity.

It's an Italian documentary, by Andrea Segre in collaboration with journalists Stefano Liberti (present in the after-film debate yesterday) and Ferruccio Segre, filmed in 2006 entirely in Africa, on the roads that migrants from Western Africa follow before arriving to the Mediterranean coasts and, possibly, try to cross to Europe (e.g. to the little island of Lampedusa). The message is clear: 9 out of 10 migrants in Western Africa are not directed to Europe but travel within Africa, as they have done for centuries and have done especially in the last 25 years, first to Ivory Coast and Nigeria, and then, due to war there, to destinations like Libya. But the Italian government's request to Ghaddafi to stop people leaving the Libyan shores, and to repatriate/lock up foreigners (at the cost of Italy), has made life impossible for all migrants within Africa, including those who had been to Libya for 20 years and had never bothered going to Europe.

The film is sober, not overdone: you don't need special effects to get great images in the Sahara, and you don't need professional actors when people are as willing to narrate, and skilled in it, as western Africans are during their long journeys. There are no images from the internation camps or prisons, there's no horror-movie soundtrack. Some travel scenes reminded me of my own (much shorter and safer but still very long for me!) journeys on overcrowded local buses along the poor roads of Morocco, Peru, Nicaragua, Borneo or Nepal. The music (Goeffry Oryema, Fela and Femi Kuti) is particularly good and appropriate. Some telling shots, such as a big sign in the middle of nowhere "PAS UN PAS SANS LE VISA", and some great lines (in nice African-accented English or French). After telling about the long difficult itinerary through the Sahara, a lorry driver, asked increduly if this is the only way to Libya, answers "no, there are two ways; if you have money, you can take the plane". And asked if travelling for days on on overcrowded lorries is hard, he says that you get used to it [reflection pause], "yet lorries are for carrying things, not human beings".

The trend of rich countries to ask third countries to do, for them, the dirty job of stopping migrants, is global, and is making life hell within the Thirld World without really stopping immigration anyway. Italy and the EU are also funding Libya to build a wall on the desert border with Niger (surprise surprise, the contract went to a big Italian company, Finmeccanica). Yet the worst of all ideas in this trend has come recently from the new UK government: to repatriate child refugees from Afghanistan, and care for them in one big orphanage to be built in... Kabul. Nota bene: this is all meant "for their own good" (not because it is cheaper and takes votes away from the BNP).

"A Sud di Lampedusa" is not the only or first movie on this topic. It is a very good one though. An 8' extract can be seen on the (recommended) Fortress Europe blog.


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