Listen: Italy’s Crackdown on Migrants Meets a Grassroots Resistance
"There's a very hot issue, of course, which is preoccupying a of people here in Italy as it does in other parts of Europe. And that's the issue with Mike Gration immigration asylum seekers refugees beat irregular migrants polls consistently show here initially that sixty to eighty percent of Italians put this is one of the top priorities. And yet you seem to be going gates public opinion by advocating a more open policy towards refugees and migrants justify that. In fact, I don't advocate for a more open policy. I just advocate for the respect of human rights. I think this is the basis where we have to agree what the league wanted me to be perceived. It's like the one of the open door policy. This is it costs them fake news. The put into debate. I always say that we have to get access. To the territory to those who are in need of protection because this is written our constitution, and our lows, I also say that those who don't have the permit to stay in order to enter so the migrants economic migrants they should be expelled. But respecting the rights because they are human beings. But I mean, you know, Mary aboard gaze of the league in two thousand thirteen set of you. Because of course, I should say that you were chief spokesperson for the United Nations High commission for refugees, fourteen years until twenty twelve so very steeped in this issue of refugees. And he said, you are a perfect example of the global lazy bleeding hearts that dispense advice left right and center without having a clue what's actually going on with immigration and asylum seat. I have no clue if I have no clue working fourteen fifteen years for the UNHCR. I don't see how there. To speak at this. Is this a Maria Borges? Here's your he's very well known. No. I think I know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the respect of our constitution, and the respect of our lows basing, I touch with public opinion. But you know, it doesn't take a little out of touch with public opinion. And people say we don't want any more. And even now Naito Salvini, interior minister has said of these forty seven migrants all heading towards Sicily. They're not going to be allowed to descend. Yes. In italy. Because we have been was he sings it the dumping ground for all these regular migrants coming into your motto Salvini is everyday speaking about migrants is obsessed by migrants is not doing is. But. Fallen voters, and they voted him in we comment. He believe more and more popular, we entirely an electric of good strategy. But if you minister of interior you have to do something else. He's not doing his job as a minister of interior is not tackling. Mafia penetrating detailing economy is not focusing on. Exploited workers is not focusing on violence in the stadium is not working in so many issues with. Traded arteries with flex voters concerns, and he says in answer to your point about human rights. And so on he says, I am willing to host women and children who are escaping from war. But all the others. No. I mean, that's fair enough, isn't it? My phone's irregular migrants coming to Italy in Europe, economic reasons, they're very different from refugees. He's saying I won't turn away refugees fleeing persecution. That's all okay. Is very good in inventing inventing in emergency. Every time there is a boat with rescued people at sea, which has to land everytime is so good in creating an international crisis. But is it normal that eaten at continent of five hundred million people, you know, you have to spend two weeks in negotiating with the prime ministers ministers European institution in order to allow forty nine people to disembark, isn't this ridiculous? So we're losing the sense of reality. This is not a way to manage to give answers to migration. This is just the way to make propaganda, but you are failing to get your message for aren't you to the electric because public sympathy lies with the arguments espoused by Salvini, and for example, when you say Italy with his aging population needs migrant labor, we need Mike. Labor here to care for the elderly and Sony. Several tens of thousands every year we need to absorb that. People are not buying that argument. You know, they got the are. There are reasons why we are in the situation because I think people fear fear the future people fear those who come from far away. And so then he was very good to exploit that fear. You know, he's a raising fear every single day, despite the fact that the arrivals decrease of eighty percent every day is a putting aside anxiety. Invasion invasion during the election campaign. He promised to send out from me. That's it's warding to a spell six hundred thousand irregular migrants is said in front of me in a TV debate in few weeks. I will send six hundred thousand migrants. So none of them were expelled because it's very difficult. You ask divert the attention. The landing, but your immigrant population has doubled from two point five billion million to five million in the last ten years. So now immigrants former by eight point five percent of Italian population. Scipio people look around them and see. But nevertheless, the point I put to you is why you're losing the argument when you say look talion economy needs migrant labor, Peter not listening to you. Why not why not because what I try to say. It's I- reasons I give I tried to put this into the contest. So you need to think about it. While Salvini is just a, you know, making his Logan, very simplistic. Why are you gonna make a slogan? A simple slogan is your cousin when things go bad. You need is Cape Cod and Cape Cod. Savini is migrant. We are in a time when you know. We are in the period of the hate in politics. And the policy of hates the politics of aids. The politics of aid knits, escape got and escape. Good are migrants or European institutions. The fact is it's not only migration that you'll lose any argument center-left politicians such as you be the social Democrats in the Czech Republic. The social Democrats in Germany in the Netherlands, the socialists in France only losing ground to the anti-establishment parties populist parties, whatever you want to call them. And they are the ones who are really on the March. Why are you using the battle with the electric? Yeah. I think they are responsibilities here which can't be ignored inequality. Inequality is raising in various countries in Europe. And it was really under estimated impact of inequality into this aside. So. So I think that there was not a proper management of the globalization and the consequences of a globalization. So the markets were left alone to do whatever they thought it was fair, but they don't have to. They care of the social equality, this politician work. So I think the left wing forces really lost a lot of time before understanding that was need to react against the inequality, which you people are you? Yes and ineffective ineffective. So also Stanley directive. Your measures are saying when we were with the find two thousand and eight and the price is right in two thousand five hundred quite financial crisis. Okay. So the governments of the EU and institutions the European institution decided ECU this cure district. Ended up to kill the passion because thirty measures where they Terry. Because they blaming the traditional left because traditional left in in different countries. Griselda didn't protect them. You buy this as at public is spending when you cut public spending when you cap pensions when unemployment goes up do enough populists the anti established anti how this reform capitalism to make it more responsive to anybody's needs. They're taking your clothes. I'll tell you what. Dr Daniel potasium political. Scientist says there's a crisis of the left in Italy at the current coalition government has introduced the basic citizen's income for some of the poorest in Italian society an initiative, which will cost some ten billion euros introduced a basic payment of seven hundred eighty euros a month. That's the kind of thing that you would traditionally be doing, and we we had already kind of allowance of four people. But of course, more money was needed to cover the older needy people. So. We the previous government. I was not in government. I was the speaker. But the previous government the previous governments in the last legislature China to cope with this. But it was a too little and too late. So now, we have the European parliamentary elections in may. Yes. And more than seven hundred seats in the European parliament and the president the populist party's anti-subversion parties have about twenty percent of the seats looking at the polls that rejected to do a lot better. Now have twenty five percent or so they make it of the scene. So what do you think will happen now in this kind of debate that we're having abound inequality? Yes. Who's going to be mental Beira? Well, this elections are going to be crucial for the future of Europe. Because it's the first time where you have anti-european forces, which are quite popular in embarrassed countries. So I think. We can as a progressive forces be. Consider this election business as usual. We have to organize ourselves because I see these populist nationalist that they've tried to organize themselves at international level Salvini is very active. Auburn too often. Yes with others. So I think what at least as far as Italy is concerned. I made a proposal. We can we have to join forces all the left wing parties have to join forces. But. Oaken izing a new project so giving giving those who are disappointed those who were didn't coincidence have represented anymore. Yeah. A lot of segment of society is which abundant. Left wing parties. Okay. We have to put day issues at the center of our European agenda issues and keep them representation. So we have to do you think this will happen? The next I this realistic should happen. If we want to survive if we want to put a bit of hope because otherwise if we go each party for itself, we already know we have lost. We know that there is no hope so hope for the centre-left era eve, the centre-left doesn't understand the importance of this election. And if doesn't understand the importance it has to make a new project with new faces fresh faces fresh broad new issues and put at the centre tackle inequality. This is the core of the issue. We have to understand that. If we don't act to reduce the quality. There is no future for the left wing"