Italy's illegal immigrants
More horrific deaths in the Mediterranean
FEW images of immigrant traffic across theMediterranean have been as harrowing. Italian TVviewers this week saw the lifeless bodies of 45 African men being lifted, like animal carcasses,from the hold of a fishing boat in which they had tried to reach Europe. Others on the vesselsaid the men begged to be let out but, for fear of it capsizing, they were forcibly kept below andsuffocated.
Around 5,000 people were picked up by patrol boats on June 28th-29th, the busiest weekendof the year so far. On July 2nd another 70 migrants were reported lost at sea in a separateincident. All this comes after Italy began a search-and-rescue effort called Operation MareNostrum, in response to the tragedy last October in which 360 people drowned off Lampedusa,an island half-way between Sicily and the North African coast. On July 1st the police arrestedfive Eritreans who prosecutors said were part of a ring, with bases in Sudan, Libya and Italy,that arranged the latest ill-fated journey. In a wiretapped phone call, one was heard disowningresponsibility for their deaths because “it was their fate”.
The latest horrors produced more agonised hand-wringing, but no sign that Italian or EuropeanUnion leaders are any closer to agreeing what should be done. Mare Nostrum completed a U-turn for a country that until 2011 blocked immigrants at sea, returning many to Libya, theirmain point of departure. Some Italians believe this policy deterred people from attempting theperilous crossing, whereas Mare Nostrum encourages them. Matteo Salvini, leader of thexenophobic Northern League, said Italy's prime minister, Matteo Renzi, and his interiorminister, Angelino Alfano, were “stained with blood”.
最近的恐怖事件引起了更多令人苦恼的绝望情绪，但是意大利或欧盟领导人对应做的措施没有表现出明确的赞同意向。地中海国家的态度有了180度的大转弯，直至2011年，它们拦截了海上的移民，大多数都遣返回到了利比亚——人们主要想逃离的国家。有些意大利人认为这项政策阻止人们尝试这项危险的越境行动，另一方面又在鼓励他们。排外北方战线联盟的领导人Matteo Salvini表示意大利总理Matteo Renzi和司法部长安杰利诺·阿尔法诺“双手沾满了鲜血”。
It is true that, since Operation Mare Nostrum began, arrivals in Italy have soared (more than65,000 so far this year, against around 8,000 in the first half of 2013). But Greece also saw alarge rise, of 142%, in the first four months of 2014, as fighting in Syria intensified. The “cruelto be kind” argument for returning migrants has become harder to sustain as Libya lurchesfrom dictatorship to anarchy.
In ever harsher tones, Italian officials have protested that the EU is not helping enough. MrAlfano has threatened unspecified reprisals if Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissionerresponsible, skips a meeting in Rome to launch Italy's six-month EU presidency. But the realobstacles to burden-sharing lie not in Brussels but in national capitals. Italian efforts to putimmigration at the top of the agenda for last month's EU summit came to nought.
Italy's partners argue that they deal with proportionately far more asylum-seekers. In thefourth quarter of 2013 Germany received proportionally three times as many applications asItaly. But none of the others is mounting, for humanitarian reasons, a naval operationcomparable to Operation Mare Nostrum. The cost, initially put at 1.5m ($2m) a month, hasexploded to 9.5m. As it grows, the Italian government can expect to come under mountingpressure from public opinion to use its EU presidency to force the club to lend it a hand.
1.fear of 对…恐惧
例句:Ignorance of people brings fear, fear of theunknown.
2.in response to 对…做出反应
例句:Sudan even threat-ened to mobilize inresponse to the ultima-tums.
3.come to 苏醒;到达;共计
例句:I do hope you'll be able to come to the wedding.
4.deal with 处理;对付;应付
例句:The deal with Chelsea may not, however, be dead.