Friday, August 13, 2004

Soft Underbelly Revisited

ROME - Near death after days at sea, the African illegal immigrants had made it to Europe, but were too weak to step down the ship's gangplank.

The scene last week was appalling but familiar — more emaciated arrivals among the thousands risking death to reach Italy's lengthy coastline and, from there, prosperity in Europe.

The focus is on the plight of the refugees, which is understandable, but read this AP story on Italy's immigration crisis with a thought for the future of Europe, where native populations decline, and the potential for terrorism.

... an estimated 2 million people are waiting to cross from Libya ... "This is not a question that Italy could possibly solve alone, but only in the context of European Union policy. It is really shameful that the EU has not found any efficient means to tackle the problem for years and years now." ... The 25-nation EU has no common policy on immigration matters. ... "If an immigrant succeeds in setting foot in Italy or Spain, he can be in Paris or Berlin or Madrid within a few hours."