Migratory tragedies—deaths at sea—are all too familiar in this part of the world. But the demise of a wrecked boat called “Summer Love” late last month struck a particularly painful chord. It happened close to the southern coast of Italy – the ship full of migrants broke down less than 10 feet from the shore in Calabria. Bodies washed up on the beach. Twenty of the more than seventy dead are said to have been children and the souls that were recovered were placed near a gym where the coffins contained the disaster, small white children.
The stories of the dead – like a young mother from Pakistan desperately trying to reach Europe for treatment for her disabled son – have touched people around the world. And now many people, especially here, are blaming the Italian government, saying that its focus on stopping illegal or irregular migration has not stopped this phenomenon, but has put lives at risk by obstructing rescuers. which are now under a new set of rules.
Italy’s first female prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, has reacted angrily to suggestions that her government has not been sufficiently moved by the tragedy of “Summer Love” and is somehow to blame for failing to prevent it, saying It has been reported that the maritime authorities were not aware of the ship’s distress until it was too late.
“I wonder if there is anyone in this country who honestly believes that the government intentionally allowed people over 60 to die, including some children,” Meloni said before the death toll rose over the weekend. “I ask you, looking into your eyes, if any of you think that the Italian government could have saved 60 people, including a child of about 3 years old, whose body was discovered today, and didn’t Please, be serious.”
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The devastation is proving to be Meloni’s first real public and painful challenge since taking office last October. So far, his path has been largely upward. By many accounts, she has been a solid, pragmatic figure, not the far-right ideologies left and even center portray her to be.
Nick Farrell, Italy correspondent for Spectator magazine, said, “She has proved many of her critics wrong, who warned Italy would fall prey to a far-right fascist regime if she was elected,” would be a danger to Italy and Europe. She is not behaving in a fascist manner and she is not trying to destroy democracy.”
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Italy’s new prime minister, an eccentric, passionate political player at 47, is already a veteran in politics, having been involved since his teens. Meloni has been a consistent advocate of the far right, some of which is derived from the remnants of Mussolini’s disbanded party in Italy. But the relatively centrist tone Meloni has struck so far as prime minister – perhaps out of political understanding and necessity, perhaps for other reasons – is reflected in his solid approval rating of 55%.
His party—The Brothers of Italy—is a party that won 27% of the vote in the last general election. It doesn’t sound like a huge number, but Italy’s governments are coalitions and the Brothers are leading the pack, as 27% was the most any party got. But from that 27% vote to now 55% approval shows that Italians’ opinion of their current prime minister has evolved.
Emiliana de Blasio of Louis University in Rome said, “I think people have changed their mind about her – obviously. They see that Italy is strong in the international debate. It seems she is acting well.” is – she is leading the country.” “Now he has a third of the consensus [referring to what Brothers of Italy pulled in recent polls], Compared to what we are used to here, in Italy with the far-rights who haven’t gone beyond ten percent, thirty percent is a big deal.”
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For now the famously Eurosceptic prime minister is playing nice with Brussels, perhaps to ensure that Italy, the largest designated recipient of the COVID recovery fund, gets its share of the cash. But Nick Farrell thinks there are bigger things in store for him within the EU.
“She could be the next Angela Merkel. Traditionally Germany and France have called the shots in the European Union. Italy has always been a very junior partner to them,” says Farrell, maligning the French president and German chancellor. With the elections in full swing, this could be Italy’s moment.
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But for now, Melonie needs to deal with the tragedy at home. This is a horrifying story for Italy. It is fair to demonize human traffickers, as many are doing at the moment, and to say that these ocean liners should not sail, but at the same time it is important to ensure that human life is protected. He should be protected in the most delicate situation.
Meloni will raise the issue with his European counterparts later this month as a continent-wide solution to the problem of dangerous and unregulated regulation appears elusive after so many years.
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