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The domination of Africa that can fall on Italia- Corriere.it

The domination of Africa that can fall on Italia- Corriere.it
The domination of Africa that can fall on Italia- Corriere.it
from Goffredo Buccini

The ongoing political, social and economic upheavals sound like an alarm. But the EU does not seem to see the risk of destabilization we are running

The domino of despair starts again on the other side of our sea. While the last one thousand hundred migrants see the Italian coasts right in these hours, perhaps it is worthwhile for us to stretch our gaze beyond the Mediterranean: there, where the heart of the problem is. On balance, out of some 200 million North African citizens, 150 are unhappy with their governments, convinced that they have taken serious steps backwards in the field of personal rights and freedoms between 2019 and 2020. Ten years after the first riots, the bankruptcy of the so-called Arab Springs, photographed in this way by the Arab Barometer study center, by crossing Covid and climate change, causes vast political, social and economic upheavals in North Africa. And it sounds like an alarm for Europe: for its coastal countries, which are more exposed to refugee flows and, in particular, for us, with our infinite maritime border.

In the Italian public debate, the issue is still shielded by fears of a fourth wave of pandemic, but is already reappearing with arrogance in sovereign slogans: between now and the next legislative elections it can explode again with all the contradictions it has generated in the past. When the NGO boats Ocean Viking and Sea Eye 4 have collected yet another wave of fugitives, long awaiting a landing, Luciana Lamorgese recalled that it is right to save these people but it is unfair that only one country, ours, is responsible for them. only because of first arrival. We have been repeating this in vain for years.

The never reformed Dublin Treaty, the little applied Malta agreements, the hundred promises of a very solidary Union against the coronavirus, but completely absent in the face of the great waves of displaced persons (because it is conditioned by the obstructionism of the Visegrad block), they are just as many thorns for those who have to govern the phenomenon from the Interior Ministry.

The data from the dashboard of the Ministry of the Interior as of 5 November are explicit: with 54,000 landings since January, compared to 29,000 in 2020 and 9,000 in 2019 in the same period, arrivals have multiplied by six in two years; naturally Matteo Salvini intones the easy mantra of when I was there …, deliberately ignoring a very changed geopolitical context. Not an emergency, mind you: we are just a third of the flows that Italy faced during the great crisis of 2014-17 (resolved by the memorandum of Minister Minniti, still highly contested by the left and by humanitarian associations for the ferocious treatment imposed on migrants by the Tripoli coastguards and in Libyan camps). However, it signals a worrying trend, in the face of a reception system that has yet to be reformed, if not re-founded. And the North African specificity confirms: Tunisians (14 thousand) and Egyptians (six thousand) make up almost 40% of the migrants disembarked by us in 2021.

The alarm is raised by ISPI and the Atlantic Council in the latest dossier on North Africa, 2030 what future awaits the region. Researchers fear a decidedly bleak one in the face of challenges that include youth unemployment of 49% in Libya (an unprecedented figure) and rates similar to before the Arab Spring in a Tunisia plagued by political instability, urbanization without services for 56% of North Africans flocked to the metropolises, a potentially fatal energy transition for the rentier states (Algeria and, again, Libya) accustomed to counting on black gold as on a limitless ATM.

This disaster affects us. If North African citizens continue to believe that their best option is to migrate north, migratory pressure towards the European Union will only increase, as already happened in the post Covid period (the number of irregular transits from North Africa to Europe increased from 40,000 in the year prior to March 2020 to 110,000 in the last twelve months), note, introducing the dossier, the ambassador Giampiero Massolo, president of ISPI, and the CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe. If even one in every thousand of those 150 million restless North Africans described by the Arab Barometer decided to follow the Mediterranean route to Europe today, it would instantly generate a new migration crisis in Europe and especially in Italy.

Which way does it go out? There are those who, like Gennaro Migliore, imagine a true African PNRR. The issue of economic support for ancient Africa is controversial: in fact, the Italian president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean is also calling for a European security force to accompany him, to do what the United States did before. Vast program, De Gaulle would say, in the continuous quarrel between Brussels and nation states. Yet, the strong advance of Islamist terrorism in the Sahel, generated by Covid (due to the withdrawal of troops and flight of jihadists from Syrian detention camps that are no longer controlled) would really suggest a common action: The Sahel can be a year-old Afghanistan in the heart of ‘Africa, says Migliore. And the torments of the sub-Saharan region can reach us: The current volatile situation in the Sahel has aggravated economic conditions and blocked any improvement, factors that influence migration to North Africa and, consequently, to Europe, explains the Ispi. Families, mothers, children flee from the new Isis, from dictatorships, from inter-ethnic clashes, triggering a collective movement towards the North that has our coasts as a landing place. That a Union capable of investing so much in post-pandemic Italy does not see how this desperate domino can destabilize us, rewarding precisely the most hostile forces to Europe, one of those paradoxes behind which history delights in hiding: until it reveals itself when too late now.

November 7, 2021 (change November 7, 2021 | 22:31)

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