Arab Revolts Raise New Migration Threats

4 posts

Mighty Atom

If order and stability are not re-established in North Africa soon, there will be a massive exodus of boat people to Europe. There is a real threat here of a Camp of the Saints scenario unfolding.
Niccolo and Donkey

Europe has two priorities here:

1. The continuation of the regime instituted by Berlusconi and Gaddafi to stop the flow of illegals through Libya to the continent
2. The continuation of oil supplies necessary for the world market

Therefore any change in rule must come quickly and as seamlessly as possible so that a regime can control the entire state and continue to support both points above.


Morocco is just beginning to crackle, Algeria also. The Mediterranean will soon be filled with migrant rafts in the Straits of Gibraltar & Sicily and joint naval exercises between Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Hezbanon in the Leviathan gas field.

Niccolo and Donkey
Italians fear African migration surge

Stanley Pignal and Giulia Sengreti

February 21, 2011

Fears of a possible surge of north African immigrants undermined European efforts to craft a joint response to Libya’s bloody crackdown against anti-government protesters.

In the wake of the bloodshed in Tripoli, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels condemned the violence and called for restraint on all sides, as they considered the repercussions of the wave of fallen and tottering regimes in the region.

But Italy, which has in recent years seen a huge influx of illegal immigrants arrive from Libya, sounded a more conciliatory tone, worried that the departure of the Gaddafi regime could result in more migrants.

Franco Frattini, foreign minister, warned of the dangers of Libya becoming an “Islamic Arab Emirate at the border of Europe”, as he reiterated calls for a closer partnership with north Africa, which would provide European trade and investment in exchange for political reform.

The division followed last week’s threat by Libya to stop co-operation on migration matters if the EU encouraged protesters. The warning was dismissed as “state blackmail” by France and Germany.

Fears of a surge in illegal immigrants are most acute in Italy. Lampedusa island near Sicily has received nearly 6,000 migrants from Tunisia since the regime there collapsed last month.
Officials fear the numbers could swell if anarchy grips Libya.

Under the terms of a secretive 2009 deal between Rome and Tripoli, the Libyan authorities have co-operated in intercepting boats seeking to cross to Europe, also taking back migrants caught by Italian coastguards without assessing their claims to asylum under international law.

The agreement, which has been severely criticised by the Vatican and human rights organisations, has proved effective. Immigrants landing at Lampedusa have decreased by 98 per cent, from 37,000 in 2009 to 400 in 2010.

At Rome’s request, the European Commission on Sunday started co-ordinating a taskforce of border specialists to help patrol around Lampedusa.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italian prime minister, will hold a special cabinet meeting on Thursday to discuss the issue of illegal immigration from North Africa.

During his last visit in Rome last August, Mr Gaddafi urged the EU to give $7bn a year to curb the flow of African migrants.

Under the accord, Italy pledged to pay $7bn over 20 years as reparations for its colonial rule from 1911 to 1943.

In return, Libya not only granted the immigration deal, but also gave Italian companies priority in infrastructure projects.