Tag Archives: Southern Europe

Italy News | African Migrants & Refugees

Protests follow denial of docking for ship carrying migrants, murder of migrant activist in Italy
  • More than 600 migrants and refugees have been stuck abroad the Aquarius and two other Italian ships after the government refused to let them dock in Italy, with Spain having finally agreed to accept them.
  • Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party, has pledged to expel undocumented immigrants, vowed to crackdown on immigration, and shared anti-immigrant memes on social media.
  • Following his decision as well as the murder of migrant labor activist Soumayla Sacko, thousands of demonstrators mobilized in Rome to protest in solidarity with migrants.
Read

Italian official warns migrant ships not to dock as migrant supporters rally in Rome” (CNN | June 2018)

Aboard the Rescue Ship Where Migrants Have Been Stuck for a Week” (The New York Times | June 2018)

Italians march in solidarity with migrant workers” (euronews | June 2018)

Italy News | Black African Migrants

Far-right extremist injures six in racist shooting rampage in central Italy
  • The shooter reportedly drove around the city of Macerata for two hours shooting at black people, leaving six nationals of Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia, and Mali injured (one seriously) in his wake.
  • Now booked on charges of attempted murder with the aggravating circumstance of racial hatred, the man had collected Nazi and other white-supremacist paraphernalia and had ties to a number of neo-fascist political parties.
  • The incident came amid increased tensions following the arrest of a Nigerian migrant in connection with the suspected homicide and dismemberment of an Italian teenager.
Read

Italian man held after driving through city shooting at black people” (Reuters | February 2018)

Italy shooting: Mein Kampf found in home of suspect” (The Associated Pressvia The Guardian | February 2018)

Macerata gunman had extreme right-wing background” (Euronews | February 2018)

Europe & Eurasia Research | Religious & Belief Minorities

Religion and National Identity in Eastern Europe and Eurasia

The Pew Research Center recently conducted a survey on the relationship between religious and national identity in Eastern European and Eurasian countries, noting changes in the way that religious identification has influenced national identity since the fall of atheist fundamentalism with the USSR. For religious and belief minorities—now including atheists—the relationship can be a troubling one, particularly as resurgent nationalism in the region has been accompanied by xenophobia and religious discrimination.

Here are highlights from the findings:

70% (Orthodox-majority) / 57% (Catholic-majority)

Average among countries who believe majority religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity

82% (Armenia)
81% (Georgia)
78% (Serbia)
76% (Greece)
74% (Romania)
66% (Bulgaria)
63% (Moldova)
57% (Russia)
51% (Ukraine)
45% (Belarus)

Percentage within Orthodox-majority countries who believe Orthodox religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity

64% (Poland)
58% (Croatia)
56% (Lithuania)
43% (Hungary)

Percentage within Catholic-majority countries who believe Catholic religious identity is very or somewhat important to national identity

Read

Religious Belief and National Belonging in Central and Eastern Europe (Pew Research Center | May 2017)

Italy News | Black

Italian MEP convicted of defamation for racist remarks
  • Mario Borghezio was convicted for comments against former Italian MP Cécile Kyenge, Italy’s first black national minister.
  • Borghezio had stated in a 2013 interview that Kyenge, who immigrated from the DRC, wanted to “impose her tribal traditions from the Congo” and was “a good housewife, but not a government minister.”
  • Kyenge has faced numerous racial attacks as a result of her political visibility, and the ruling is the latest in a series of successful defamation cases she has brought.
Read

Northern League MEP must pay €50,000 to ex-minister over racial slurs” (The Local | May 2017)

Italian in Europe’s Parliament Convicted of Defamation for Racial Insult” (The New York Times | May 2017)

Italian MEP Cecile Kyenge: ‘I feel vindicated’” (BBC News | May 2017)

(Image Credit: Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times)

Italy Feature | Women & Migrants

The Enduring Exploitation of Italy’s Grape Harvesters

Two years after the plight of its grape harvesters crashed into the global consciousness, Italy continues to struggle to uproot the labor practices that have been called “modern-day slavery” by human rights and labor rights advocates. Recent legislation has prioritized the eradication of exploitation, but underground organizations continue to take advantage of the dire conditions of Italy’s most vulnerable. Overworked, underpaid, and subject to extortion by recruiting and transportation agencies, the migrants and poor Italian women enduring the strenuous work of picking and cleaning grapes continue to struggle with difficult choices between precarious work, personal health, and acquiescence in a system designed for their failure.

Read

A Woman’s Death Sorting Grapes Exposes Italy’s ‘Slavery’” (The New York Times | April 2017)

Additional

Fire kills two in Italy migrant farm workers’ ‘ghetto’” (Reuters | March 2017)

(Image Credit: Nadia Shira Cohen/The New York Times)

Morocco & Spain News | Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

Hundreds storm gate to Morocco-Spain border at Ceuta exclave
  • The autonomous Spanish enclave of Ceuta, one of only two land borders between Africa and Europe, saw some 850 sub-Saharan migrants and asylum-seekers scaling barbed wire fences along the five-mile border between Morocco and Spain to reach the immigration center inside.
  • The city, located on the northwest coast of Morocco, has long been the site of attempts to cross into Europe, although strong security forces have kept most attempts at bay.
  • The event follows a similar—though unsuccessful—one from New Year’s Day, when more than 1,000 attempted to breach the gate.
Read

Los saltos en la valla de Ceuta se duplican tras la amenaza de Marruecos” (El País | February 2017)

Morocco uses migrant crisis as leverage in EU free trade dispute” (France24 | February 2017)

Risking Injury and Arrest, African Migrants Storm a Gate to Europe” (The New York Times | February 2017)

(Image Credit: Jesus Moron/Associated Press, via The New York Times)

Interregional News | Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

Italy rescues almost 2,500 asylum-seekers in Mediterranean over three days as trips and deaths surge
  • The Italian Coast Guard pulled 1,100 from nine vessels in one day following the rescue of 1,360 in the previous two days as migrant deaths are up by more than 330% over 2016.
  • More than 10,700 have crossed the Mediterranean in the first months of 2017, an increase of a third over 2016.
  • Recently, Italy and the U.N. agreed to fund migrant camps, Coast Guard training, and anti-smuggling efforts in Libya to stem the flow of migrants into southern Europe, a move criticized by humanitarian groups because of Libya’s political insecurity and harsh treatment of migrants.
Read

Italy says 2,500 boat migrants rescued at sea in three days” (Reuters | February 2017)
Migrant Fatalities Surge on Libya-Italy Mediterranean Route” (Voice of America | February 2017)
Can E.U. Shift Migrant Crisis to the Source? In Libya, the Odds Are Long” (The New York Times | February 2017)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via Voice of America)