Roberto Saviano: The Meloni-Rama agreement for immigrants, propaganda. It risks being managed by the mafia

2023-11-15 14:11:47Pikëpamje SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
Roberto Saviano

At the moment there is only one announcement, that of bringing about 36 thousand immigrants to two detention centers in Albania. One built for managing border procedures, i.e. identification, origin, medical visits. Another to detain immigrants awaiting repatriation. But like everything else this government has done, it's just electioneering. Expensive, however, and paid for by taxpayers. For this availability, Albania will be given an amount, only in advance, of 16 million euros.

This agreement will not only lead to nothing, but will be an additional cost in economic and logistical terms for Italy. And all this will be done as usual in the skin of immigrants.

First of all, being an international agreement, it must pass through the Parliament. But the government declares that, based on the Treaty of Friendship between the Italian Republic and the Republic of Albania of 1995, it will not be necessary. False, an international agreement of this type always requires parliamentary oversight. It must be approved by a vote of the House.

This arrangement is completely illogical, hastily and amateurishly made.

A jurisdictional problem

The main problem is jurisdiction. In fact this would happen: Italian jurisdiction would extend to a non-European territory through a simple handshake between Giorgia Meloni and Edi Rama. This means that in those centers the Albanian laws will no longer be applied, but the Italian ones. Even if the center is located in Albania. Staying within those limits, the limits of the detention centers, will be like being in all respects on Italian territory. But all this within the Albanian State.

An absurd burden.

Who will decide on the personal freedom of the migrant waiting to be repatriated? Who will decide on your application for international protection? An Italian judge, as we just said. But which one? Chosen on the basis of what? Determining who is the competent judge is the basic principle of law. But the Italian government does not respond to this basic principle.

Selection of vulnerabilities

Just as it does not say who will respond to migrants' asylum claims. Any asylum seeker who is rescued by an Italian military ship – which therefore represents Italian territory – has the right to apply for international protection in the European Union. However, if this person is taken to a non-EU country, how is this right guaranteed? Will people have access to all the services that need to be provided, such as lawyers, translators, territorial commissions, mediators, etc.? Who will take care of maintaining European standards for reception and rights? Who will provide these rights?

And again, how do you decide who will move to Albania? The government has specified that minors, women and vulnerable subjects will not be transferred to the centers. But from aboard a ship, how can you tell if a person is vulnerable or not?

We will see if and how this agreement is unconstitutional and those responsible will tell us. But we can certainly say that it is politically and organizationally useless. These are very expensive centers, which will require significant logistical efforts. In the end, however, not only will they not improve the management of flows in Italy, but they will worsen the existing problems.

Numbers that don't add up

Let's look at the numbers. In the protocol, the government writes that a maximum of 3,000 people can be accommodated in the Albanian centers at the same time. Giorgia Meloni specified that 3,000 people will be transferred every month, a total of 36,000 per year. So 36 thousand repatriations every year. Which cylinder does this number come from?

Minister Matteo Piantedosi himself, speaking in Parliament about a month ago, admitted that the real figures are much lower at the moment. From January to October of this year, Italy repatriated 3,471 immigrants. A year ago, in the same period, only 2800. More than 3 thousand per month. These figures are simply inflated to suggest that the government is managing and solving the migration issue, which is not happening at all.

False promises about repatriations

Immigrants awaiting repatriation will be able to stay in the centers for a maximum of 18 months. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama clarified that with the expiration of this deadline, Italy will have to return them to its territory, if it has not managed to repatriate them in the meantime. Which is highly unlikely, given that they've never managed to repatriate that many people. So, to be clear, when the 18 months pass, the immigrant detained in Albania must return to Italy. And in the end he will be on the road in Italy, as is the case today. With, in addition, the costs of transferring these people from one place to another. A crowd strategy.

Of course, Giorgia Meloni knows all this, but is silent about these figures and these facts, because otherwise she would admit that the one with Albania is a completely pointless operation.

Italy claims to be one of the largest economies in the world and has a logistical and host capacity infinitely greater than a country like Albania. This operation makes no sense at any level, it's just propaganda. It's just another election ad.

Albanian organized crime

And finally, what will happen in Albania when this project starts? Who do you think will manage arrivals, procurement, canteens, and in some cases even escapes from these centers? Albanian mafia families. 

The risk of Albanian organized crime participating in this operation is very high.

Without direct control, as is known, to whom will the Italian funding go?

We saw it with Turkey, with Tunisia, with Libya. Transferring control of your borders does not at all lead to greater security, does not at all lead to greater management capacity, it only brings the horror of injustice, torture, corruption.

We are physically moving our borders to another country: operationally all this will not translate into greater effectiveness in protecting these borders, but will mean selling them. Washing their hands of it, trying to get others to do the dirty work. On the one hand, immigrants will pay for all this. On the other hand, the citizens, who are deceived and robbed. Economic resources will be taken away to be invested in detention centers in Albania. Which, however, will not be useful.