NEWS » Online video released to discourage people from emigrating to Italy

Online video released to discourage people from emigrating to Italy

On the eve of the European elections the final rush to scrape votes together has begun. The most debated has been so far the video to discourage immigrants from coming to Italy, realized by the Northern League (Lega Nord), the party created in the early 1990s around the idea of a secession of a part of Northern Italy. The Northern League (Lega Nord) decided to go back to its anti-immigration roots proposing an online video, in which some immigrants encourage fellow countrymen not to come to Italy.

The video, produced as part of the European elections campaign of Angelo Ciocca, a candidate for the Lega Nord to the European elections, has already caused a strong debate. In the spot, five legal immigrants from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Angola and Arabian countries, talk about the difficult situation that Italy is facing: there aren’t jobs and immigrants coming to Italy risk starvation in the “Bel paese”, because things are bad for immigrants too, and coming to Italy as clandestine means facing misery and desperation. The immigrants also explain that Italy, together with Spain and Greece is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The immigrants conclude their message inciting their people to stop coming to Italy, and to stop paying the boat passage for illegal immigration on the Italian coasts, because in Italy there aren’t any jobs and there’s no future. According to Lega Nord the immigrants willingly participated in the making of the video.

The Northern League party was often accused in the past of using xenophobic messages to attract votes. Its new leader, Matteo Salvini, has recently proposed the suspension of the Italian Navy operation that rescues migrants in the Mediterranean.

After the corruption scandal involving the Northern League’s top ranks, causing the resignation of its leader Umberto Bossi, most of the Northern league votes have gone to the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, led by Beppe Grillo. The European elections are expected to be a match between Rienzi’s PD and Grillo’s Five star movement.

The Lega Nord is expected to get around 5% of the national vote, half of what it obtained in the last European elections.

Immigration is clearly an emergency that Italy cannot face just by itself. According to Frontex - the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union - in the first four months of 2014 there was an 823 % increase in arrivals of migrants to Italy, over the same period of 2013.  Frontex, said that its budget this year is lower than that for 2013. In order to cope with any emergency, they asked for the opportunity to have a reserve of extra money, but the EU Commission have denied it. 

Giulia Lombardo

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